Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Conference Preview: A Look into Centralized Scheduling: The One-Stop Shop

Session Title: A Look into Centralized Scheduling: The One-Stop Shop

Presenters: Beth Bragalone, BS, CHAM, CRCR, CRCS-I, CHAA, Revenue Cycle Training Specialist Integrity Coordinator at Middle Park Medical Center.

Learning Lab: Series 3 (Panel)

Date/Time: May 5, 10:15 a.m.

Healthcare today is the consumer market. With more hospitals offering services that help provide pricing transparency, patients have a vast opportunity to shop around and locate services that fit their lifestyle, most importantly their budget and time. Alongside hospitals providing better pricing transparency, patients have access to obtain information on physicians, hospital ratings and the quality of services. These facets make it truly a patient’s market giving them greater opportunity to locate cost-effective services with quality experience and care. 

A decentralized scheduling model within a hospital or hospital system can create inconsistencies across departments in processes, organizational structure, physician experience and, most importantly, the patient experience. These factors can cause scheduling confusion, scheduling errors, and a multitude of phone transfers that leave the patients and physicians dissatisfied. 

A decentralized model can also restrain a hospital’s ability to track data and key performance indicators (KPIs). Having an inability to track data and KPIs makes it harder to pinpoint bottlenecks in services and poor processes that should be addressed for better patient experiences and hospital ratings. With decentralized services in centralized scheduling, you are at risk of not capturing a piece of the consumer market for hospital services. Patients and physicians can choose other hospitals due to dissatisfaction and experience. 

A centralized scheduling “one-stop shop” model can increase customer service satisfaction, standardize processes within the hospital and afford ease of access to change alongside the healthcare industry. It can be an opportunity to provide patient education regarding services, insurance, and financial assistance all in one phone call or setting. Having the multitude of services centralized will provide consistency and quality among departments and help reduce wait time for patients. Financially, you could see an increase in hospital reimbursement and reduction in denials. Having a centralized scheduling model expands the ability to implement a quality assurance program that follows NAHAM’s key performance indicators, helps track metrics and allows to implement changes when needed. 

Why is this topic so important to the world of Patient Access today? It is both the frontline and usually the first point of contact for consumers inquiring about services or scheduling services. Providing the patient the best experience in one phone call or setting alongside great patient care will bring consumers back for follow-up service and future care.

Conference Preview: Career Ladder for Success

Session Title: Career Ladder for Success

Presenters: Judy LB Parker, EdD Candidate, MSL, BSBA, Enterprise Director, Patient Access at Presbyterian Healthcare Services

Learning Lab: Series 3

Date/Time: May 5, 10:15 a.m.

Retaining quality employees can be difficult. Some organizations have reported a 30–40 percent turnover rate in Patient Access and higher in the emergency room. Organizations typically have a career ladder for clinical staff but not for Patient Access. Staff shortages can have an adverse effect on patients and staff morale. How do you minimize staff turnover? Staff retention is done through a Career Ladder for Success.

This session looks at the development of a Patient Access career ladder and moving away from a multi-titled, siloed department. Patient Access leadership is tasked with hiring competent staff members who can meet and exceed the expectations of the organization and the patients. Recruiting is only a small portion of the task; one of the more important pieces is retaining the qualified and highly trained staff hired into the department. Most employees do not want to leave their job or the organization they work for but do want growth and a feeling of value. This learning lab will give you tools to structure a career ladder to not only develop the staff’s career and self-worth, but also benefit the organization through job sharing and cross-training.

Shortages within Patient Access can have an impact on physician scheduling, patient satisfaction and departmental morale. The time needed to train staff to perform at peak performance can be intensive. Patient Access has historically been seen as a “foot in the door” or “entry level” role, and when a seasoned individual leaves an organization, the knowledge and investment within that employee also leaves the organization. Showing employees that they have a future and a career within Patient Access will minimize the foot-in-the-door mentality and strengthen the employee pool for the organization.