Stanley Street Treatment Resources (SSTAR) is a non-profit health care and social service agency that provides a wide range of mental health and substance abuse treatment services to people throughout Southeastern Massachusetts.
Addiction, and subsequent treatment, is an incredibly sensitive, and often stigmatized, topic of conversation. When a patient struggling with addiction enters a treatment facility seeking help, the admitting staff and caregivers must be able to act in a timely manner. Whether it’s accessing digitally stored records or gaining access to the restrictive framework that encompasses many controlled medications, staff members need to be able to access the right information at the right time without any lags or obstructions. In the case of treatment centers like SSTAR, having uncompromised access to electronic medical records could mean the difference between life and death for a patient needing immediate serious medical treatment.
Envision began working with SSTAR in 2010, but our relationship with the organization did not really blossom until a few years later in 2014. Now into 2019, our partnership is stronger than ever due to a decision that Envision made early on: put SSTAR’s best interests must be put ahead of the desire to simply close new business with the organization.
Doing Things the Right Way
Envision’s first engagement with SSTAR was an assessment for a virtualization project. Based on our assessment, we presented a proposal to virtualize the organization’s physical servers. Unfortunately, some of the changes that were requested to that proposal were not in-line with Envision’s recommendations or the best practices that we follow. Rather than comprise on what we felt was the right solution for SSTAR, we decided to walk away from the deal.
Our commitment to doing things the right way is what that led the company back to us in 2014. They had made changes in their IT department and were looking for some help with a network that was experiencing some problems. The management team at SSTAR remembered our integrity, commitment to excellence and adherence to best practices. This is what set Envision apart and proved to SSTAR that we would be a great partner to work with for their IT needs.
Secure, Uncompromised Access
Over the years, Envision has put in place a variety of time-saving, cost-effective solutions to improve the organization’s quality of care. One of the major successes produced from the partnership was the deployment of a secure remote access system. By entering protected, personalized credentials, a staff member at SSTAR can access information, such as a patient’s health history, from any location. Previously, if an employee wanted to access system information from a remote location, he/she would use a remote desktop or a virtual private network (VPN) to login. Through this old method, data was consistently leaving its home environment, significantly increasing the organization’s risk and regulation issues, especially when dealing with medical records. Through our installation of a secure remote access system, traveling data now longer presents itself as a hazard.
Reliability When it Matters Most
In addition to this new remote access system, Envision outfitted SSTAR with a new, updated phone system. Prior to the installation of the new phones, SSTAR had been using an unreliable system that frequently dropped calls. For a patient calling the center to seek medical treatment, dropped calls represented a serious gap in care availability. If a patient calling the center is already hesitant about calling the center in the first place, a dropped call may dissuade that person entirely from seeking the help they might desperately need. Envision found a way to not only upgrade the treatment center’s phone lines to a current generation system, but also save SSTAR money on their phone bill every month.
The Impact of Envision
Envision’s impact on SSTAR can be seen in nearly every aspect of the organization’s interaction with technology. Here are a few examples of the outcomes of our partnership:
- The new phone system that Envision deployed, eliminating lost phone calls from patients, created an impact of $100,000 annually.
- The implementation of data protection and data loss prevention measures and policies created a much more stable infrastructure for the organization.
- A company-wide move to Office 365, which improved the efficiency of their communications and significantly reduced the number of spam messages they were receiving each day.
- Strategic direction that allows SSTAR to focus on core competencies, while Envision provides the technology, to help them provide superior services and treatment for Southeastern Massachusetts.
For many years now, Envision has worked alongside SSTAR to assist the organization in providing the highest quality of care to one of the most vulnerable patient populations. SSTAR’s mission is to “Provide a quality continuum of care and support to all people, especially those affected by addiction, by responding to their mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual needs.” By integrating Envision’s vCTO services with SSTAR’s strategic objectives, we have repeatedly assisted the organization in furthering their critical mission.