Customer Spotlight: Upstate Community Medical

This quarter we are beginning our customer spotlight series with Upstate Community Medical. They provide patients in Syracuse, New York with OB/Gyn and Midwifery services and have been for many years. I spoke with Jennifer Ryan, the Practice Manager, and asked her a bit about the practice, herself, and what makes Upstate Community Medical Center unique.


Hello Jennifer! Can you tell me about your practice and your specialties?

We are an OB/Gyn practice and a Midwifery practice as well. That is actually the newest part of us. We just opened that in November.

Is there anything that you feel sets your facility apart from others in the same specialty?

We have doctors who have been in practice for over 40 years, so we have a wealth of knowledge. One of our physicians is President of the County Medical Society. Another of our physicians is head of the OB/Gyn Department and he teaches. One of our midwives not only sees patients in the office, but is also actually working in labor and delivery. So, we have a wide expanse of knowledge, community involvement, and there is a large base that our patients have available to them.

How long have you been in business?

Well, I’m going to date myself when I say this, but I have worked for Dr. Weinstein for 39 years. We were acquired by Upstate Community Medical almost two-and-a-half years ago. So, at that point our practice grew. That’s when we got two more providers and the midwifery office. We’ve actually just rebranded under the Upstate Community Medical name.

It sounds like the practice has really progressed over time.

We have! We’re growing rapidly, and the OB portion of our practice has grown very quickly, and the model that we do here in our offices is not something that all practices do. We work in conjunction with the hospitalists on labor and delivery, who are also employed by Upstate Community Medical. So, we do prenatal and postpartum care here in the office and the hospitalists on labor and delivery deliver the patients. So, the doctors that they see here do not deliver, they are only caring for the patients in the prenatal months and postpartum.

Wow, that’s a lot going on.

It is, and obviously we are seeing women for their well-woman care also, from adolescence to menopause and well beyond.

What is your role at the practice?

I am the Practice Manager. I oversee the staff, make sure the offices are staffed properly, I oversee the Doctors’ schedules. I just try to make sure we run smoothly on a daily basis, make sure the patients are accommodated and well cared for.

That’s a huge part of the job too!

It is a huge part of the job. On a daily basis, employees come to me and ask, “How do I get a patient in here? Where on the schedule can I put this one?” So, it’s a lot of juggling the doctors’ schedules, troubleshooting, and a lot of making sure the patients are accommodated in a timely fashion.

What is your favorite part of your job, or the best part of your day?

I don’t always get the opportunity to interact with the patients, but when I do have the opportunity and they want to say, “I know you don’t always get to hear this, but I want you to know that your staff went above and beyond for me today.” That’s nice to hear. To hear that we went the extra mile, and someone came out of here happy, that’s nice. That’s nice for all of us, especially the patient because they got good care.

What are you most passionate about?

Personally, I’m passionate about family. I’ve always tried to treat our staff as family. My parents are aging, and I go to their doctors’ appointments with them, and I get a feel for the other doctors’ offices. I went to an appointment a couple of weeks ago and my dad asked for help getting a wheelchair for my mom and they said, “No, we can’t.” I was taken aback that a member of that staff would be so unkind, and I came back to my staff and said, “I hope no one here would ever treat a patient like that, because it’s mean. Would you want your mother treated like that? Think about that when you’re caring for a patient. How would you want to be treated? Treat that patient the same way you would expect you or your mother to be treated.” That’s kind of the way I look at things, like a family.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I like to golf, and I just joined a cornhole league. This one is the second largest in NY state and I play with my son, I got him into it. Actually, I made him cornhole boards because I like to woodwork too. So, I dabble in a few things.

What is one thing that you wished your customers knew either about yourself, or your practice?

I wish they knew how much we truly care, and how much goes into making us run every day as a practice as a whole. It’s not just booking their appointments, it’s also what we have to do behind the scenes. They call and schedule the appointment, but that’s not the end of it, and sometimes they think it is. A lot of work goes into getting a patient into the office. Our staff cares about the care they are providing, and it’s important to them.

What do you like most about using Inphonite?

It frees up my staff to do other tasks! They spend so much time on the phone now answering calls and scheduling appointments, it is a nice break for them. I really think it’s a very efficient way to confirm patient appointments. Almost everyone has a cell phone and receives text messages, and I think people will look at their texts before they answer their phone, so, we have a better chance of our patients confirming their appointments, cutting down our patient no show rate.