The UroGPO team is always impressed to see how ‘small’ practices step up to offer comprehensive care not only for general urologic conditions, but also for advanced diseases. For our member profile this week, we spoke with Dr. Tim Richardson, with Wichita Urology.
The secret sauce to Wichita Urology’s success can be summarized in one word, COMMUNICATION. The team is committed to meeting regularly to openly discuss current and future initiatives.
“Seeing our team live is key,” Dr. Richardson says. “We may end up sitting in a room together until 9 at night, but it has allowed us reach success beyond our size.”
He says it is critical to meet regularly.
“Once a year or once a quarter is not enough,” he says. “We meet two to three times a month for three hours on Monday nights. All topics, from hiring, adding service lines, referrals, bonuses, or even the efficiency of the front desk or the purchase of a new CT scanner are talked about. We discuss, vote, and within two weeks, the initiative is happening. We talk, decide and do.”
This has allowed Wichita Urology to adapt and succeed.
Dr. Richardson and the Wichita team are passionate about their Kansas outreach clinics. They take time from their schedules to travel to and care for patients in more than a dozen underserved geographies. Each physician has locations that are a drive or a flight away. Dr. Richardson says this has been meaningful to patient care, but also from a practice networking perspective.
“Sure, those two to three days a month, you could avoid the travel, but you offer good care to patients who don’t have access to local urology,” he says. “And the other days of the month, those local physicians are referring patients to you when their condition requires care in one of our central facilities. We are a group of nine, but with our outreach, we serve a patient population of 1 million.”
Accessing remote areas of Kansas can be an adventure, however, especially via small aircraft. Dr. Richardson noted a particular trip during which the airplane door opened mid-flight, and the pilot turned around, landed, re-latched the door and resumed the flight.
Another noteworthy initiative at Wichita Urology is the recent hire of a Pharmacy Tech to run their In-Office Dispensary (IOD). Twila Purity, CEO, notes that they’ve realized numerous benefits to having a dedicated headcount. They have been able to fill scripts that they had been unable to fill before, as well as gain interest from more patients to fill Rx’s in office. They note that this will continue to be even more relevant as further oral agents move into the Urology space for Renal, M0 CRPC and other disease states.
Dr. Richardson sits on UroGPO’s APC Medical Advisory Group and he shared how he became interested in advanced prostate cancer care.
“I’ve been trained in robotics and have enjoyed surgeries for GU cancers,” he says. “In 2014, when these new therapies allowed urology to offer further cancer care for patients, our group was very interested. This was a big deal for our patients. UroGPO held their 2015 spring meeting in Dallas; I was the last person to step backward, and my practice voted me to go. That meeting gave me the stimulus for our group to integrate these new services lines. It offered better care for our patients and more potential for practice success. From there on out, I became the practice liaison to UroGPO and LUGPA, and have been bringing insights back to the group from each meeting I attend.”
We thank Dr. Richardson for sharing his insights into Wichita Urology’s success. Knowing more about your urology colleagues across the county will allow you to network, communicate and bring best practices home to your groups.
Wichita Urology mission statement: “To provide the best urologic care to the people of Kansas by blending modern medicine with time-honored values of compassion, empathy and respect.”