Michael Schifano, DO, MBA'17, is the kind of physician who’s always finding new ways to differentiate his practice. As CEO of Heartland Women’s Healthcare in southern Illinois, Dr. Schifano’s obstetrics-gynecology practice offers patients 30 locations for care in both Illinois and Missouri, as well as an extended-hour call center and 24-hour online appointments. But it’s not just accessibility that sets Heartland apart. A few years ago, he initiated a service that’s more convenient for expectant mothers – and a significant cost-saver.
“We had a need for patients to receive ultrasound photos of their unborn babies, however, ultrasound film is very expensive,” Schifano explained. “We tried printing photos to DVD, but it was cumbersome. We decided to begin saving the photos to a USB drive bracelet for the patient, which is a third of the cost of the film.”
But Dr. Schifano and his IT director, Chris Frost, didn’t stop there.
“We thought, ‘What else can we do for the patient?’ We began loading their password-protected electronic medical records in the USB bracelets for their convenience. The bracelets are branded on the outside to advertise Heartland and have become the patients’ welcome gift to the practice. They’re loaded with ultrasound photos of their baby, their locked prenatal records and even some frequently asked questions about what to expect during their pregnancies.”
Dr. Schifano was promoting the bracelets to other health care professionals at an American Congress of Obstetrics & Gynecologists (ACOG) meeting a couple of years ago, when his booth happened to be next to one for the Kelley School of Business Physician MBA Program. He’d contemplated earning his MBA in nearby Chicago or St. Louis, but no program was specific enough to the healthcare business skills he wanted to gain to grow his practice.