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Scot Davis Talks Up Telehealth Offering Relief to Urology Patients

6 min read

Scot Davis joined Arkansas Urology as CEO in May 2013. He has nearly 30 years in physician practice management serving in a variety of executive roles. Before moving to Little Rock, Davis was CFO at Baptist Medical Group in Memphis. Before that, he was CFO and interim COO at Northeast Arkansas Clinic in Jonesboro.

A Memphis native, Davis earned his bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public administration from Memphis State University and a master’s in business administration from Christian Brothers University of Memphis.

Davis is involved in many community organizations and is the board president of the American Heart Association of Central Arkansas.

Your goal is to bring quality urological care within 45 minutes of all Arkansans. How are you trying to do that, and how close are you to that goal?

Arkansas Urology currently has 14 locations across Arkansas, and we plan on continuing our momentum for growth to reach more Arkansans. In conjunction with opening more locations, we offer telehealth services for a variety of conditions, which makes quality urological care more accessible.

Our focus is not only growth but also maintaining the highest quality of care and investing in greater technology to better serve Arkansans, including adding a new imaging center and kidney stone center and hotline in central Arkansas. No matter where patients live across the state, we’re dedicated to providing world-class urological care.

It’s difficult to persuade men to make personal health care a priority. How do you overcome that?

We understand that most men don’t think about the consequences of delaying their annual health exams and preventive screenings, but it is something that we need to talk about and get comfortable with. Raising awareness is the first step, and providing easy access is a close second.

We have a variety of initiatives to help raise awareness for men throughout the year such as No Shave November, dedicated to raising awareness for prostate cancer; Men’s Health Month in June, where we give free screenings to men in central Arkansas that help doctors detect issues such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and also some cancers such as prostate cancer; and Kickoff to Men’s Health in September, where we offer free screenings for men at our locations across the state where each man receives a free prostate cancer screening. During Kickoff to Men’s Health in 2021, we provided free screenings to an estimated 300 men across the state. We want that number to continue to increase. We designed each of these initiatives to encourage men across Arkansas to make their health a priority and make it easier than ever for them to have access to world-class care.

Have you noticed people putting off procedures and checkups because of COVID? How are you dealing with that?

Everyone’s comfort level during the pandemic is different and for some, it has impacted preventive care — especially for those who didn’t make it a priority before the pandemic.

At all of our Arkansas Urology clinics, we prioritize following all necessary COVID-19 protocols put in place by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Our staff of professionals is highly trained in implementing these processes for patient safety so we can ease the stresses of our patients when they come into our clinics. Additionally, our telemedicine service offers a huge convenience to those who are hesitant to go into clinics for procedures.

We understand that participating in annual exams or scheduling procedures isn’t typically at the top of your to-do list, but staying on top of your health should always be a priority. Putting off screenings, procedures and checkups for too long is never a good idea, and physicians are seeing the direct impact of that through more serious cases.

How has Arkansas Urology adapted to a COVID world? Are there certain things you do now that you expect will be permanent?

The pandemic has caused us all to take our personal health more seriously. All of our clinics have implemented COVID-19 infection control protocols and cleaning standards to keep our staff and patients safe, and the utilization of our telemedicine services has greatly increased as well. We do envision telehealth visits becoming more routine, and while many urological issues can be addressed via telehealth, there are many that still require in-person visits and lab tests. This has helped tremendously with Arkansans who are wanting to reduce in-person visits or simply take advantage of the convenience of saving time on travel.

Are you having any difficulty attracting and retaining workers, and if so, how are you confronting those challenges?

Like most in the health care industry, we are experiencing staffing shortages. We remain focused on bringing highly skilled professionals and physician care to our patients. Despite the challenges, we are having great breakthroughs and are attracting nationally renowned physicians to better serve Arkansans. We are laser-focused on bringing in world-renowned providers to join our team, and we are very excited to announce that one of the best urologists focused in prostate cancer care in the country will be joining our team in 2022. These breakthroughs in staffing are thanks to our investment in innovative technologies, our team of physicians, our dedication to opening more clinics across the state, and our approach to making urological care more accessible across the state. We have increased our minimum wage and work diligently to create a culture of caring while offering outstanding benefits and creating a fun and exciting place to work.

What workforce challenges specific to your specialty are you having to overcome? What are those challenges and how do you meet them?

More urologists are retiring than being trained and entering the practice setting. This makes it difficult to keep up with the ever-growing demand for urological services in this state. We will continue to add advanced practice professionals (advanced practice nurses and physician assistants) who work side by side with our physicians to provide outstanding care. We appreciate the patience of our patients as we work hard to get them seen as quickly and safely as possible. We will continue to focus on bringing the highest quality of care to Arkansans statewide. Our innovative technologies have allowed us to serve our patients to the best of our ability during uncertain times. The pandemic continues to bring challenges to how we practice medicine and treat our patients, but it has not kept us from providing the best care possible. Our key priorities at Arkansas Urology are to continue growing so we can provide quality urological care to more communities. We will continue to forge new paths and bring new technologies to our clinics to better serve our patients.

During the early months of the pandemic, you shared that Arkansas Urology’s surgical center could handle other hospitals’ and ERs’ urgent urological procedures in the event they were overwhelmed. Was Arkansas Urology able to help?

Our Centerview Surgery Center has proven to be a huge resource and option for patients who are unable or hesitant to visit an ER or hospital. Now, with the increase in COVID-19 omicron cases and hospital ERs and beds at capacity, another way we can help is with our Kidney Stone Center. With our ability to provide kidney stone treatment, patients can call 1-844-NOSTONE to get convenient 24/7 access to our Kidney Stone Center. We are glad we can treat patients with kidney stones through our clinic and surgery center so that hospitals can focus on other emergency issues.

In 2020, you launched the Arkansas Urology Foundation in part to focus on providing free health screens to men in Arkansas. How is the foundation doing?

The Arkansas Urology Foundation has made a great impact on bringing high-quality health care to more men in Arkansas. It has always been our goal to raise awareness of men’s health issues and emphasize the importance of health screenings and regular checkups as part of preventive care. Arkansas Urology’s 25th Anniversary Silver Ball is a major fundraiser for the foundation, and we have already raised over $275,000. We have just recently made the tough decision to reschedule this event from January to June due to the recent COVID-19 surge, but we are eager to continue these efforts in raising funds for the foundation to provide more free men’s health screenings for Arkansans.

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