Embracing Change: How Xpio Health Guided Buckelew Programs’ Digital Transformation

“The very first thing I encountered on my desk was a contract for a new electronic health record system left by the previous CEO, along with a pen,” Chris Kughn, CEO of Buckelew Programs, said.

Kughn quickly realized he was navigating uncharted waters. The enormity of implementing an EHR system sunk in quickly, and he knew it demanded expertise beyond his team’s scope.

“Now this was getting real. We were changing from a paper system to an electronic health record for our entire organization,” Kughn said. “Holy smokes, I know how to be a CEO, but I don’t know how to do this.” This need for specialized skills in navigating technological transitions in healthcare led Buckelew Programs to partner with Xpio Health.

Bridging the Technology Gap

Xpio client manager Jill Johnson emerged as a key figure in this journey. “Jill was like a guru to us,” Kughn remarked, underscoring her indispensable role. Johnson’s expertise in demystifying complex EHR-related challenges was pivotal. Kughn reflected, “I have decades of experience in program management, but translating things like CPT codes and complying with specific regulations like 42 CFR was overwhelming for us.” Johnson’s initial on-site visits laid the foundation for a robust collaboration, bridging the gap between Buckelew Programs and the EHR vendor, ensuring a smooth transition and clear communication.

“The biggest challenge was trying to get a fully integrated source of truth for all of their programs,” said Johnson. “Each of the programs were working in their own systems instead of there being one program for all of them. Some of our meetings/discussions were sometimes challenging. They made it work, though!”

The engagement with Xpio Health revolved around the installation of new technology. They understood the delicate dance of change management and guided Buckelew Programs through this period of big changes.

Johnson immersed herself in understanding the organization’s structures, programs, and systems. Her ability to bridge the gap between the technical requirements and practical application was pivotal in aligning the EHR system with the organization’s workflow.

Training for Transformation

Central to Xpio’s strategy was a strong emphasis on training and empowering Buckelew’s staff. ‘Xpio was really helpful, saying, ‘Okay, we’re going all in,’ Kughn recalled. Their comprehensive training and on-site support played a vital role in the initial implementation, fostering a culture of independence and proficiency within the organization.

Johnson praised the organization’s commitment to the project. “Some of the program leaders created their own job aides and workflows that were extremely detailed,” she said. “I still do not know how they found the time to accomplish that task!”

The EHR system’s introduction marked more than just a technological upgrade. It represented a significant cultural evolution for Buckelew Programs. ‘This transition was as much about cultural change as it was about technology,’ Kughn pointed out. By paying close attention to these cultural dynamics, the shift was effectively about evolving the organization’s culture and communication, not merely adopting new tech.

A change in the financial landscape marked another pivotal chapter in Buckelew Programs’ journey with technology. The shift from a cost reimbursement basis to a per-service billing model was a fundamental change in the organization’s financial management approach. Xpio Health played a crucial role in this transition, working closely with Buckelew’s staff to align their services with the new billing model. This ensured financial sustainability while maintaining the integrity of Buckelew’s services.

Reflecting on the critical go-live event, Chris Kughn recalls the challenge of shifting from paper to digital. “It was a monumental lift,” he said. “Jill said it right: “Pull off the Band-Aid.” This approach was vital, especially for the paper-heavy detox program. “Our least tech-savvy staff went 100% on day one. It was chaos for a couple of days, but they figured it out.”

Partnership for Progressive Change

Kughn emphasized Xpio Health’s essential role in this transition. “Xpio was like, ‘We’re going all in,'” guiding the organization with hands-on support and training. The Xpio team’s tailored training was crucial, especially as generic online training didn’t fully address Buckelew’s specific needs. “It was a big shift; the staff were freaked out,” Kughn reflected on the significant change and ongoing evolution. “That training really moved the needle in the initial implementation”

Xpio’s specialized knowledge and change management skills were crucial in guiding Buckelew through their digital transformation. Reflecting on the overall impact of Xpio Health on Buckelew Programs, Kughn summarized, “It’s like it brought us into the 21st century. Honestly, like having come from the paper charts, it transformed our approach and our culture.”

The partnership between Buckelew Programs and Xpio Health, marked by evolving mutual trust and collaboration, is a testament to the power of the right partnership in times of transformation.

As the transition progressed, the partnership between Buckelew and Xpio Health evolved into a long-term relationship. “The reality is that there’s a unique skill set that, as an organization, we don’t have. And we need the support of an organization like Xpio, which has such a breadth of various electronic health records.” 

This ongoing collaboration involved continuous work on various initiatives, further solidifying the trust and mutual respect between the two organizations. “There have been other opportunities in working with Xpio,” Kughn explained, “to explore how we can not just support our electronic health record, but create other things within our organization that support growth and efficiencies across electronic health record platforms and just IT in general.” Kughn’s involvement in recommending Xpio for other projects within the community and his advocacy for their services is a testament to the strength and success of this partnership.

The story of Buckelew Programs and Xpio Health is more than a case study of a successful EHR transition. It is a story about overcoming challenges through partnership, about embracing change not just technologically but culturally, and about the power of collaboration and trust. As Kughn aptly puts it, “It transformed our approach and our culture,” the journey with Xpio Health has indeed been a transformative one, bringing Buckelew Programs firmly into the modern era of healthcare.

The journey of Buckelew Programs with Xpio Health highlights the profound impact of partnering for technological and cultural change. It’s a reminder that in the world of healthcare, evolving together can lead to remarkable transformations. Contact us today to learn how we can help your organization meet and exceed your objectives. What steps is your organization taking to stay ahead in this ever-changing landscape? Share your insights with us.