St. Luke’s Hospital recognizes National Patient Access Personnel Week

Published 11:53 am Thursday, April 21, 2011

St. Luke’s patient access department, also known as the admitting and registration department: Back row (from left) Elaine Murray, Teresa Makupson, Heather Harden, Beverly Barton and Jason French; front row (from left) Phyllis Mullis, Jane Jones, Lisa Nanney and Janet Flynn. (photo submitted)

In honor of National Healthcare Access Personnel Week, St. Luke’s Hospital acknowledged its goodwill ambassadors who are the face for the hospital. The theme for this year’s recognition is “Patient Access: Holding the Key to Service Excellence.”

Healthcare access management professionals provide quality care in patient registration and all of its support processes to patients, providers and payors throughout a patient’s healthcare experience. Not only do they represent the first impression, becoming the face for the entire hospital, but they also serve as the key component in putting every healthcare visit in motion. It all starts and ends with patient access, paving the road to success for the patients and for St. Luke’s Hospital.

At St. Luke’s Hospital, the patient access department recently celebrated their teamwork and their most recent audit for Medicare Secondary Payer questionnaires, which showed 100 percent compliance.

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“At one point or another, every department at St. Luke’s Hospital comes in contact with the public,” said Lisa Nanney, patient access coordinator. “The opportunity to present a positive image to our community begins with the registration process. The access (registration) department is most often responsible for providing patients and visitors with their first impressions of our hospital. Patients and families coming into our hospital are often in a stressful situation. Our job is to ease their concerns in a caring and efficient manner.”

In an average day, the Patient Access Department handles a variety of requests from many persons including physicians, nurses and patients. Physicians call to schedule patients for admission and nurses inform access of any patient transfers. The Access Department staff must also be familiar with the procedures and guidelines of various insurance companies.

During the access process, patients sometimes are feeling apprehensive and need support. “When people aren’t feeling well we need to be fast, accurate and above all, friendly,” access staff member Janet Flynn, said. “Our main priority is to balance efficiency with large doses of caring and concern.”

Another staff member, Phyllis Mullis, reported that her job is very rewarding, “I feel good at the end of the day when I know I was able to make a difference in a person’s outlook by cheering them up or smoothing away worries by being there to answer questions.”