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Today is the beginning of an exciting new journey. The athena era has begun! Despite your inevitable frustrations navigating athena and struggling through each patient encounter, today marks an important transition for us and what we all believe will be an amazing, new chapter for the (new) Square Care Medical Group.

That said, there is no getting around the fact… it will be painful. I have no doubt, it already is. While we are all in the immediate aftermath of our Go-Live and struggling with the various features of athena, please know you are not alone. As you can see below, there is an expected productivity drop for everyone as we sink into what has been called the “trough of disillusionment”.

This trough cannot be avoided, not even by the best of us. Things will be tough, tensions will be high, and productivity will drop. For everyone. The depth of the slope and the time spent in the trough however, is variable (see the typical and goal curves). Those of you who had a positive outlook from the beginning and prepared by taking advantage of the online educational resources, end user training and various training modules are much more likely to find a lesser drop in both the magnitude and duration of the trough.

What if you didn’t take the pre-Go-Live training serious enough? You didn’t do the online training. You didn’t get enough out of the end-user training or mock encounters. You are not alone either. You may struggle a bit more through Go-Live, but we cannot go back and prepare any differently at this point. The time has come, the athena Go-live is upon us and we are committed to doing all we can to help everyone achieve a steep upward “slope of enlightenment” and reaching a plateau of productivity that surpasses everyone’s previous pre Go-live level. As you will see, there are resources that are being deployed throughout this Go-live period. But, the support does not end at Go-live.

During the post Go-live period, we will also be offering additional one-on-one training and other resources to supplement your training to date as well to tackle the new challenges that we all know will arise as you start using athena more meaningfully. Furthermore, we will be monitoring metrics in the background and will be identifying areas of need and will be proactively reaching out to those of you who are struggling.

It is in our collective best interest to maximize our investment in athena and make this work for everyone. In addition to your individual productivity, please know that there are many other benefits to us all by moving to athena. Some of these benefits include but, are not limited to the following:

  • Improved overall practice efficiency and internal communication
  • Improved revenue cycle management leading to better collection rates and cash flow
  • Patient satisfaction increased by use of portal, scheduling, reminders
  • Decrease in medical and prescription errors
  • Improve quality measures and closing clinical quality care gaps
  • Ability to leverage data to monitor quality, utilization and performance
  • Improve value of Square Care and standing with the managed care payers

We are all excited about what the athena implementation will mean for us as a group as we come together closer and collectively optimize ourselves for the future. We hope you will realize these benefits and more, sooner rather than later.

On behalf of the Square Care MSO team (Kelli, Max, Marissa and Michael) as well as the WHUSA, athena and Coker resources that have been deployed… we are here for you and will be doing all we can to make this a success for everyone.

Good luck to all!

– Dr. Simon Prince