Vanessa Sukra, MD, FAAP, is a board-certified pediatrician in private practice in Greenburgh, NY. Dr. Sukra has been affiliated with Boston Children’s Health Physicians (BCHP) since December 2015.
How has your affiliation with BCHP benefitted your practice?
It has been a great positive change for me. It’s been especially helpful to have BCHP manage the day to day operations especially as it relates to the administrative needs of the practice, including billing. This has freed up more time for me to do what I love — seeing patients and practicing medicine.
Another plus has been using BCHP’s electronic medical records (EMR) system. When I was on my own, I had been paying a monthly fee for my own system. But I had no IT backup and no one to call if I had issues. With BCHP, I have technical backup 24/7. It was also nice to go paperless. We scanned in all the charts, so everything is now on the computer. If I had to do that on my own as a solo practitioner, the cost would have been enormous.
BCHP was also instrumental in helping us attain patient-centered medical home certification, which we received in March 2018. The QI department at BCHP held our hands throughout the entire process. Having them as a resource and backup was really helpful — I’m not sure I would have been able to do that on my own.
They have also made the referral process to specialists easier for me and my patients. I am just required to make one phone call and I am able to get my patient in, and they are being seen more quickly. And I can honestly tell parents that we have some of the best specialists here at BCHP, many of whom I know personally.
As a solo practitioner, I’ve appreciated the opportunity to form relationships with my colleagues in BCHP. For example, I now have a group of BCHP colleagues who provide coverage for me, and I cover for them as well.
Have you noticed any benefits in your personal life?
Yes, the affiliation with BCHP has made a huge difference in my quality of life. I have two older daughters and a husband, and having some extra time to spend with them has made huge difference to my whole family.
Joining has also benefitted my employees’ lives because BCHP provides benefits such as health care coverage, a 401K plan and paid time off.
Is your affiliation with the BCHP name a positive for patients?
Yes. My practice is already very busy, but the connection with Boston Children’s Hospital makes a big difference for parents who have heard of the hospital, especially for referrals. Parents know they’re getting the best care. One family was very excited because they had already traveled to Boston Children’s for specialized care for Erb’s palsy.
Have you had to make changes in the way you practice to participate with BCHP?
I was practicing for 12 years on my own before I joined BCHP. I am still able to practice in the same place and in the same way, using evidence-based practices, but with BCHP’s support we have been able to improve our clinical workflows and improve our ability to provide well-coordinated patient-centered care.