Boone Drugs, Inc.
Established in 1919, Boone Drug has been serving western North Carolina and eastern Tennessee with quality service and reliable prescriptions for nearly a century. Boone has become one of the fastest-growing and successful pharmacies and home medical equipment providers in North Carolina, with 17 stores serving 15 counties and more than 200 employees. They are an authority in pharmaceutical sales and offer hard-to-find services such as oxygen services and BHRT hormone replacement therapy.
Despite the company’s dramatic growth, the original store still thrives in downtown Boone, with an old-time soda fountain and grill, household and rustic gift items, the aroma of home-cooked food, and kind words from strangers that make for an experience quite rare these days.
Kim Cooper, Boone’s accreditation coordinator, has multiple responsibilities, including keeping Boone stores accredited to comply with stringent Medicare regulations. She also supports and maintains all the company’s home medical equipment billing software and VoIP phone systems, and maintains the computers in several departments. Kim has been working with Epicor (formerly called DocStar) ECM since October 2011.
A more comprehensive solution
“Prior to signing on with DocStar [now Epicor], I talked with three companies,” Kim says. “The other two essentially offered only HME (home medical equipment) document management systems. We chose DocStar [now Epicor] ECM primarily because their system was versatile and flexible enough to help improve our efficiency, quality, and performance throughout our corporation.”
Before Epicor ECM, Boone staff would waste significant time looking for documents, often with several people involved in searching for papers which might never be found. “In our Respiratory Department, people would spend 20 to 25 minutes of paid company time combing various offices for documents, and would do this several times a day,” she says.
“We’d spend lots of time talking to doctors asking them to refax documents because we couldn’t find them. Things were routinely getting misfiled. I just kept thinking, there’s got to be a better way to do this.”
Once Epicor ECM was implemented, it was successfully integrated into multiple departments at Boone Drug, saving the company valuable time and money in HME, respiratory, HR and accounts payable. “We’ve also performed 3,500 immunizations in the last year, and DocStar [now Epicor] ECM has been a tremendous help to us in responding to patient requests for documentation support,” Kim says.
Better search capabilities, customer service, and overall fit
She also praises the unique search function in Epicor solutions. Unlike other products, which organize content into folders, Epicor conducts more detailed, layered searches to locate documents much more quickly and easily.
“With other systems, we could only search for one thing, like patient name, but with DocStar [now Epicor] ECM, we can search documents using multiple criteria. Considering the amount of data we have and the many different areas we serve, we feel the solution is a much better fit for our company.”
“We probably have 25 Boone employees using DocStar [now Epicor] ECM regularly now, and we’ve definitely seen a reduction in the number of documents we have to copy,” Kim adds. “And because our people are spending less time searching for paper documents, they can spend more time serving our patients and communicating with physicians.”
Faster workflow and billing
From HME to respiratory, Epicor ECM has improved workflow and expedited billing throughout the Boone organization. “Before DocStar [now Epicor] ECM, patient charts would sit on billers’ desks, respiratory therapists would pick them up and the billers might not see them again for six months. Now, because everything’s electronic, respiratory therapists don’t need to interact with our billers anymore and everything gets billed much faster.”
Before Epicor ECM, Boone would receive dozens of customer service calls each day and would need to pull paper documents for solutions 60-70% of those calls, keeping customers on hold and often tying up several employees in the search. Now they pull documents for far fewer customer calls and can access all patient information for the past five years in about 10 seconds.
Kim estimates her company is saving roughly $75,000 annually in processing expenses with Epicor ECM. Boone has also eliminated about 50 file cabinets previously used for long-term document storage, which translates to approximately $145,000 annually in hardware, space, supplies and labor cost savings.
“DocStar [now Epicor] ECM has also made a huge difference with our audits, particularly our annual 401k plan audits. Now, all we have to do is sit the auditors down at computers and tell them what information to enter; then they just hit a button and instantly have everything they need at their fingertips. Our HR manager says he can’t believe how much less stressful this process is than before DocStar [now Epicor] ECM when he’d spend two solid days pulling and copying paper docs,” says Kim.
More efficient audits are saving Boone Drug roughly an additional $15,000 a year, for total annual cost savings generated by Epicor ECM approaching a quarter of a million dollars.
A growing role for Epicor ECM
Boone is also gearing up to expand Epicor solutions into other areas. “Our Diabetic Center is a centralized location for all diabetes supplies dispensed through our company and will be on DocStar [now Epicor] ECM within six months, which will be very convenient,” Kim says. “In the long term, every one of our stores will be scanning their invoices into WebWorks and DocStar [now Epicor] ECM instead of using company couriers to transport them. This will be a lot faster and will eliminate the risk of losing or misreading paper envelopes.”
“For me, the top benefits of DocStar [now Epicor] ECM are ease of document retrieval, ease of access between our stores, and the technical support. The DocStar [now Epicor] team is friendly, helpful, and they always call back. I’ve had them on the phone for more than an hour, and they never get frustrated with me. They’re just great,” Kim says.
“DocStar [now Epicor] ECM has done exactly what I wanted it to do, and I love that we’re just able to easily expand into so many different areas. We keep finding more material we’re going to be able to put into the system. It’s just amazing.”