HeartPlace uses Phreesia’s smart-scheduling tool to fill open slots, save staff time, and increase revenue

Case Study | Marketplace

At a glance

  • 31%

    of last-minute appointment cancellations automatically filled

  • 1,100+

    appointment slots filled without staff intervention

  • 4.2

    appointment slots filled per provider per month

  • 36

    days of wait time avoided

For our frontline teams, Phreesia’s smart-scheduling tool has been huge. It has helped us keep our schedule full and move eligible appointments up. When you’re getting 600 to 700 calls within one business day, it’s really challenging to make sure that all of those established and annual office visits stay full — but it’s still our responsibility to make sure that we’re providing care to patients as soon as we can. Phreesia has been great in supporting that effort.


— Holly Searcy, Director of Clinic Operations, HeartPlace



Cancellations cost time and money

As the largest independent cardiology group in Texas, HeartPlace is well versed in serving a large, diverse patient population. But appointment cancellations are a daily reality in healthcare — and for years, HeartPlace felt the ramifications.

Last-minute cancellations were particularly detrimental to efficiency, said Holly Searcy, Director of Clinic Operations at HeartPlace. Every appointment requires clinical and administrative prep work, and cancellations negated those pre-visit workstreams, wasting valuable staff time.

Unexpected open slots were a detriment to revenue, too — and they made it difficult for HeartPlace to predict its day-to-day resourcing needs.

“We needed to make the most efficient use of time for everybody within the patient journey,” Searcy said. “If we didn’t have Phreesia in place to help with that, we would be very challenged, especially given the labor market right now.”

athenahealth illustration of data with gears in front showing the potential of configuration


Phreesia helps fill open slots

In 2021, HeartPlace implemented Phreesia’s smart-scheduling tool. Now, when a patient cancels their appointment, Phreesia automatically sends a text message to clinically relevant patients to fill the open slot — no staff effort required.

“It has been a real success for us,” Searcy said.

Phreesia has proven especially beneficial for filling new providers’ schedules, Searcy added, enabling HeartPlace to equitably distribute appointments among its clinicians. It also helps the organization avoid lost revenue when a patient cancels a high-value appointment, such as a nuclear stress test.

In addition, Phreesia’s rules-based workflows allow HeartPlace to customize which types of appointments can be automatically moved up. That means Phreesia only offers patients an earlier appointment for appropriate visit types, and staff don’t have to spend time correcting scheduling errors.

athenahealth illustration of data with gears in front showing the potential of configuration


Improved efficiency, fuller schedules

Since implementing Phreesia, HeartPlace has automatically filled hundreds of appointment slots every month — including nearly one in three last-minute cancellations. Searcy said patients of all ages and backgrounds have responded well to the technology, including an important group that is often considered technology averse.

“There was a theory that our Medicare population wouldn’t take to the technology,” she said. “But they really love it. Now, they have an opportunity to know that there’s availability without a human having to call them.”

Phreesia has significantly accelerated care delivery, allowing patients to be seen 36 days sooner, on average. And because HeartPlace also uses Phreesia’s intake tools, patients can check in, make payments, and update their information in advance, giving them more high-quality time with their providers once they arrive.

“Phreesia has really helped us progress as an organization,” Searcy said. “I would encourage anybody who is using athenahealth and facing these challenges to give it a shot.”

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*Data from February – May 2023. Please note that as a member of the Marketplace Program, Qure4u and athenahealth are parties to a financial arrangement.