How Eastern Connecticut Pathology Consultants (ECPC) Tripled its Productivity and Increased its Net Collections by 35 Percent
November 20, 2023
The experts at Eastern Connecticut Pathology Consultants (ECPC), who specialize in pathology services, laboratory management, and advanced diagnostic testing for hospitals, physicians, and patients throughout southern New England, were faced with a very important decision in December of 2019. Up until then, the group had operated successfully without a practice-owned laboratory information system (LIS). The community hospitals, endoscopy centers, and physician office laboratories for which ECPC was providing laboratory management services already had solutions in place.
That changed at the close of 2019 when lab leadership decided to move forward and acquire a practice-owned LIS that would put ECPC in control of its destiny, streamline workflows, improve productivity, and allow the lab to quickly bring on new clients and scale its operations without sacrificing the level of service that its current clients had come to expect.
Kristen Conley, ECPC’s Director of Information Technology and Business Development, helped guide her laboratory colleagues through the vendor vetting process before establishing a partnership with LigoLab Information Systems and bringing LigoLab LIS online.
“We quickly negotiated and executed a contract in early January,” recalled Conley. “We were live by March of 2020.”
To learn more about ECPC’s decision-making process and why the thriving laboratory ultimately chose LigoLab, the whole story is here.
The ECPC-LigoLab partnership was first tested in the spring of 2020 as the lab expanded its operations to include UMass Memorial Health Harrington Hospital. The hospital represented a new business opportunity, one that fell right in line with ECPC's plans to work with an expanded range of healthcare providers and develop partnerships with OB/GYN, gastroenterology, dermatology, and physician office labs.
ECPC believed that with the right staff and the right laboratory software technology to support it, creating a successful practice to support these specializations was possible.
“Each lab has unique workflows and needs, so finding a comprehensive laboratory system that could be easily customized was a top priority,” said Conley. “The system also had to be able to grow with us and evolve as the needs of our lab partners changed over time.”
It wasn’t long after the Harrington implementation that LigoLab’s agility and flexibility were once again put to the test, this time with two new independent laboratory clients. Similar to the Harrington Hospital project, ECPC benefitted from the customizability and interoperability offered by LigoLab LIS during implementations that resulted in the two new partners coming online within 60 days.
“Given the success of the first implementation, we knew that we would be using LigoLab for these laboratories as well,” said Merrie Roberts, Practice Manager at ECPC.
Conley explained further that one of the projects was a simple, non-automated implementation without interfacing. But the second project, which was a lab for a multi-specialty medical group, was quite complicated. It required complex workflows and multiple interfaces for surgical, gynecologic, and genitourinary pathology, as well as dermatopathology. Adding to the complexity was the fact that both laboratories were being constructed simultaneously.
Despite these challenges, the LigoLab Operating Platform was implemented in both labs quickly, successfully, and to the satisfaction of ECPC’s newest clients.
“One thing that makes the LigoLab Platform such a good product for us is that it's very agile,” added Conley. “The system is extremely responsive and easy to work within, and if assistance is needed, the support team at LigoLab is always there to help. It truly is a great partnership.”
Conley noted that the autonomy that ECPC has gained for its report formats and the ability to easily interface with new clients are two areas of drastic improvement, whereas before the LigoLab partnership they were stressful and growth-limiting factors.
Most recently, ECPC launched a specialty division that supports several new dermatological practices, and LigoLab’s technology was a key enabler that made this possible.
“Soon after we introduced our expanded dermatological division, we were inundated with new implementations,” said Conley. “We were able to have all the builds set up and multiple interfaces created in a short period with LigoLab’s LIS. All of our dermatological clients have successfully launched in less than 60 days.”
LigoLab’s ease of use, flexibility, robust interface engine, and quick implementation timeline have all contributed to the ECPC's ability to scale more quickly than first anticipated.
“Before our first LigoLab implementation, we were at the mercy of legacy systems that were extremely limiting and rigid,” said Conley. “Because of this, our growth potential was restricted. But with LigoLab, our growth potential is almost limitless.”
According to Rebecca DiIorio, Executive Director at ECPC, LigoLab LIS excels where others fail because the system can be quickly customized to fit any situation.
“LigoLab understands the dynamics that modern labs face,” she said. “The team works hand-in-hand with us to provide the solutions that create market differentiation, giving us the functionality and support needed to expand services and acquire new business.”
Since its partnership with LigoLab began, ECPC has enjoyed the following growth metrics:
- An increase in net collections. On average, across all specialties, ECPC has increased net collections by 35 percent. Collections tied to gastrointestinal cases represent 29 percent of that growth.
- An increase in test volume. Overall volume has risen by 31 percent, with gastrointestinal cases representing 20 percent of this overall volume increase.
- Thanks to faster order entry and better specimen control, ECPC has sustained desirable turnaround times despite rapid volume growth. Turnaround times for test results continue to be within two working days for 98 percent of the cases.
- An increase in staff numbers. ECPC has added six pathologists to the practice since its partnership with LigoLab began. The practice now employs 17 pathologists, with the recent additions focused on Derm and GI cases.
- An increase in new business. The LigoLab Platform has directly contributed to ECPC nearly tripling its client count from 2020. Validating and training new clients has become routine with ECPC handling all aspects of the onboarding process.
- Expanded offerings. ECPC now offers services for dermatological practices.
Other benefits resulting from ECPC’s partnership with LigoLab include reduced errors and compliance risk, integrated and customizable reports to match client preferences, increased interoperability with EMRs and instruments, and rules and automation resulting in more productive workflows.
“With LigoLab as a partner, we are now consistently outperforming the industry standard across most metrics,” said Dilorio. “Our ability to scale and grow our practice has greatly improved.”
Eastern Connecticut Pathology Consultants (ECPC) is a thriving practice that specializes in pathology services, laboratory management, and advanced diagnostic testing for hospitals, physicians, and patients throughout southern New England. ECPC's core values include a collaborative approach, fast and accurate results, dedication to patient care, 24/7 communication, and comprehensive results in an understandable format. Learn more at ecpclab.com.
LigoLab is an award-winning provider of innovative end-to-end healthcare software for pathology laboratories, servicing 200+ facilities nationwide. As a comprehensive enterprise-grade solution, LigoLab Informatics Platform™ includes modules for anatomic pathology, clinical pathology, molecular diagnostics, revenue cycle management, and direct-to-consumer, all on one powerful and integrated platform that supports every role, every department, and every case. LigoLab empowers laboratories to better serve patients, differentiate themselves in the marketplace, scale their operations and become more compliant, and more profitable.