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Using the right tools to maintain a healthy practice

The Alaska Center for Otolaryngology and Facial Plastic Surgery has treated patients with ailments related to their ears, nose, throat and face for 10 years now.

"We do everything from putting in ear tubes and sinus surgery to rhinoplasty and reconstructive facial plastic surgery," said Dr. James Kallman, one of the three doctors at the practice.

Dr. Dwight Ellerbe started the practice in 2000 after years of practicing in the military. Dr. Kallman joined him in 2002 and Dr. Stephen Schaffer came on board in 2008. Over the last decade the business has seen some big changes, from office expansion to major equipment purchases. Since its inception, the practice has banked at First National Bank Alaska.

"First National has been with us since the beginning."

Along with financing the office's three-phase expansion, First National helped finance the purchase of some of the group's biggest equipment. That includes a CT scanner to evaluate sinuses, a videostroboscope to video a patient's vocal cords and a Sciton laser platform, which has five different lasers that do everything from reducing acne scarring and wrinkles to removing brown spots from the skin . First National also helped finance their conversion to electronic medical records. All of these purchases helped achieve the practice's number one objective - great customer service and satisfaction.

Giving customers a pleasant surprise

"A lot of times when people come in here they say, "Wow, I never knew this existed." They think it's prettier than they expected, the staff is friendlier than they expected and the services are better than they expected."

Having equipment like that financed by First National allows patients access to a greater variety of services during their office visit than they would have access to in a typical doctor's office.

"For example, as soon as a sinus patient comes in we can offer them a CT scan right here in the office. The doctor can analyze it and talk to the patient immediately, so it doesn't involve another visit. In the past a patient would have to go to the hospital for a CT scan and then come back to me. It saves time and money for the patient."

Running a smooth operation

While Drs. Ellerbe, Kallman and Schaffer are treating patients, Office Manager Sandy Glaspell is busy behind the scenes making things run smoothly. She oversees everything from staffing to billing. With so much responsibility, Glaspell welcomes resources that make her job a little easier. First National is one of them.

Two of Glaspell's favorite banking tools are online banking and remote deposit capture, a service that allows her to scan her checks through a portable scanner for direct deposit into the company's account, without having to make a trip to the bank.

"With remote deposit capture, the money shows up in the account the same day I scan the check," said Glaspell.

Banking on a healthy relationship

Glaspell credits the business's banking success to the relationship she has with her bankers, Loan Officer Jay Page and Cash Management Specialist Teresa Powell.

"Having one-on-one time with them is very helpful. They come to our office instead of us having to go to the bank. When they're here, they're always open and friendly and willing to sit and listen to us and to understand what our banking problems are so they can help us find a solution."

At least once a year Page and Powell will meet with Glaspell and the doctors to discuss new banking services that may help streamline the business's cash flow. It's the local and personal customer service like this, combined with the wide range of helpful banking tools that have kept the practice a loyal First National business customer. But it's also those resources that have helped keep the Alaska Center for Otolaryngology and Facial Plastic Surgery an outstanding, customer service-driven medical practice for more than a decade.

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The articles and opinions in this publication are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. We suggest you consult your attorney, accountant, financial or tax adviser with regard to your individual situation. Entire publication. For publication information, call (907) 777-3409.

 

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