Surgery Partners: A Growth-Focused Managed Services IT Partnership

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By CereCore | Jul 3, 2024

5 minute read MEDITECH| IT Help Desk| Case Study| Client Perspectives

A Growth-Focused Managed Services IT Partnership

Surgery Partners and CereCore collaborate to scale IT services, provide strategic value and support long-term growth through managed IT services from infrastructure to support.

The Client

  • Operates 180+ ancillary services locations in 35 states, including ambulatory surgery centers, surgical hospitals, and physician practices
  • Employs around 13,000 and treats 600,000+ annually
  • Leverages partnerships as part of their mission to enhance patient quality of life

The Challenge

In 2017, Surgery Partners merged with National Surgical Healthcare, growing the organization’s network of independent surgical facilities. As they added care locations, they needed to augment their IT staff, to find ways to standardize IT operations, to scale IT support, and to modernize and optimize their EHR. Surgery Partners began researching IT partners who could support their growing company’s IT needs and take on day-to-day IT operations like level 1 help desk services and MEDITECH hosting. They also needed an EHR implementation partner who could help them evaluate their current EHR for modernization and optimization opportunities. Surgery Partners outlined the strategic goal to leverage managed services partners for core IT operations so their IT resources could focus on IT innovation and strategy to support their long-term growth plan.

How We Helped

  • Provided enterprise-wide level 1 service desk support achieving quality results and customer satisfaction goals
  • Centralized IT infrastructure through MEDITECH hosting so that IT services scale
  • Enabled local IT team reorganization for employee satisfaction and focus on IT strategy and innovation
  • Standardized and modernized EHR with comprehensive implementation services for MEDITECH Expanse
  • Conducted due diligence assessments to support strategic growth goals
The partnership with Surgery Partners began when CereCore filled resource needs through staff augmentation services, beginning with an IT system administrator and later with MEDITECH experts in LAB and Revenue Cycle.

CereCore began providing partial managed IT services for service desk support which allowed Surgery Partners to recalibrate the support workload their internal IT team was providing to their surgical hospitals.

"Our partnership with CereCore has had a positive impact on our hospital support. Our work with your team to stand up a level 1 support desk for our National Group Hospitals has been highly successful. Some of the improvements we have seen include:

  • Significant reduction in time to answer calls
  • Substantial increase in first call resolution rates
  • Very positive feedback from our hospitals on the support they are receiving
  • Excellent 24/7/365 coverage
  • Great collaboration to constantly look for opportunities to create knowledge-based articles to increase [analyst understanding and] level scope"

Mark Edwards | VP of IT Strategy & Portfolio Management, Surgery Partners

The managed IT services partnership between Surgery Partners and CereCore continued to mature, and CereCore became their hosting services provider for MEDITECH applications, migrating surgical hospitals on MEDITECH 6.x and Expanse. Careful cutover planning for hosting migration allowed CereCore to migrate 10 hospitals within 10 months and establish standard patching and data backup cycles within four weeks of the transition into the Nashville data center.

Surgery Partners found value in the quality of support and MEDITECH services CereCore was providing and expanded their managed IT services to include 24x7 enterprise-wide level 1 service desk support for hospitals plus nights and weekend support for the ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs). When Surgery Partners compared their internal service desk offering for the ASCs to CereCore’s support, they determined our scale could aid their continued growth trajectory.

“I have seen the value first-hand in a partnership. Sometimes as an organization you have to take a step back and determine whether we should develop this as a core competency. Or, should we leverage a partner that’s already solved for this and can do it at scale so that we can focus on areas we do want to be our core competency."

Varun Gadhok | CIO, Surgery Partners

Partnership History

  • IT and clinical EHR staff augmentation
  • Level 1 Service Desk services:
    • 24x7x365 support for hospitals
    • Nights and weekends for ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs)
  • MEDITECH hosting
  • EHR current state and readiness assessment for OakLeaf Surgical Hospital
  • EHR project for new service line
    • documentation build
    • Radiology workflow assessment and build
    • Due diligence IT assessments for target ambulatory service center acquisitions
  • Expanded Level 1 Service Desk services to 24x7x365 for ambulatory surgery centers
  • MEDITECH Expanse READY implementation at OakLeaf Surgical Hospital
  • EHR current state and readiness assessment for Lafayette Surgical Specialty Hospital


CereCore assisted OakLeaf Surgical Hospital with their MEDITECH infrastructure in preparation for their MEDITECH Expanse READY implementation. CereCore also provided MEDITECH professional services to help transition OakLeaf from a highly customized and unsatisfactory 6.0 install to a standards-based and best practice compliant implementation of MEDITECH’s latest Expanse 2.2 offering. CereCore, Surgery Partners and OakLeaf teams worked collaboratively toward improvements in clinical integration and comprehensive reporting functionality. The 14-month project also included implementation of the full web application suite and the Talis anesthesia product.

“We have been incredibly pleased with the resources that CereCore has been able to provide to Surgery Partners and are looking forward to the next steps in this journey,”

Michelle Partipilo | Director of Hospital Systems, Surgery Partners

The Results

Level 1 Service Desk

CereCore achieved quality and satisfaction metrics even though the support partnership expanded in scope and Surgery Partners experienced organizational growth. These factors resulted in five times the number of incidents from 2021 to 2023 and yet high-quality support remained consistent.

Provided Scale

  • Mitigate merger and acquisition (M&A) risk with IT due diligence, integration, and a powerful decision-making tool
  • Staff augmentation for IT and clinical EHR

Enabled Growth

  • Standardize IT operations, provide healthcare-grade reliability, and cost-efficiency by delivering fully-managed MEDITECH hosting
  • Scalable 24x7x365 level IT service desk, which expanded across the enterprise over time

Improved Satisfaction

  • Modernize EHR with comprehensive EHR services by implementing MEDITECH Expanse at OakLeaf Surgical Hospital and performing readiness and workflow assessments

Level 1 Service Desk Performance

Routine reporting tracks the following key performance indicators:

  • speed to answer
  • abandonment rate
  • average incidents per month
  • first call resolution
  • first contact resolution
  • level 1 and level 2 customer satisfaction

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SP CS_graphic B


  • Collaborating in partnership, CereCore and Surgery Partners leadership meet regularly to help drive decisions.


  • CereCore provides a fully-managed hosting infrastructure for 13 locations with differing versions of MEDITECH (four locations do share a 5.xx environment).
  • Application management support and infrastructure teams perform monthly OS server patching for MEDITECH and third-party applications and maintained a 99.8% patching compliance average for 2023.
  • CereCore monitors storage and server resources, adds resources as needed to maintain system availability and efficient operations, and provides monthly infrastructure reporting to communicate changes in the hosted environment.

Professional Services

Technical assessments

  • Due diligence assessment projects for 18 care locations received positive feedback as a decision-making tool.

Comprehensive EHR services

  • Current state EHR assessment team from CereCore worked with OakLeaf Surgical Hospital and facility leadership chose to implement MEDITECH Expanse.
  • Implementation team comprised of four CereCore MEDITECH implementation consultants and one CereCore project manager successfully implemented MEDITECH Expanse at OakLeaf.
  • Optimization team assessed Lafayette Surgical Hospital running MEDITECH 6.0 for technical infrastructure, application usage, and clinical satisfaction. The assessment outlined what migrating to MEDITECH Expanse would involve.
  • Staff Augmentation services provide two subject matter experts focused on Lab and Revenue Cycle on a contract basis.

Hear from Surgery Partner Leaders

Listen to the podcast

Scaling an IT Department to Support Growth (and Why Managed Services Makes Sense)

Varun Gadhok, CIO of Surgery Partners, talks about how he has seen managed services partnerships fuel company growth and contribute to both employee and customer satisfaction.


EHR Optimization: How to Keep ImprovingAfter Go Live

Cory Lane, Director of Operations, OakLeaf Surgical Hospital describes how their processes and collaborative team approach are helping them optimize MEDITECH Expanse on the heels of their go-live.


A CEO's Experience: What an EHR Technology Change Really Needs for Success

Anne Hargrave-Thomas, CEO of OakLeaf Surgical Hospital and vice president of operations at Surgery Partners walks through OakLeaf’s transition to MEDITECH Expanse and shares advice on getting the right people involved, communicating well, developing strong partnerships, and more.

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