From the Frontlines
Patient Access: Putting Patients First
Regardless of how you enter Ivinson, via ambulance, wheelchair, or on your own two feet, your first encounter is likely with a patient access representative. Whether it is through admitting, central scheduling, the operator or getting a prior authorization, our patient access team is constantly guiding patients through the healthcare system
Amidst a pandemic, patient access representatives find themselves taking on new challenges every day.
“Admitting and PBX (the operator), they have really been troopers,” said Koren Clark, Centralized Scheduling Supervisor. “They are the first point of contact for patients, answering all their questions and really are problem solving and triaging to help them get the care they need.”
Those coming to Ivinson will find that public entrances have been reduced. There are new safety precautions put in place from the moment you enter the building. Everyone entering the facility, including staff, are being screened for symptoms and having their temperature taken.
Patients checking in will speak with a patient access representative through a glass “sneeze guard” put in place for their safety and yours.
“The glass can be confusing for patients,” said Corey, a patient access representative in the emergency department. “Many want to go around it or think we can’t hear them, but it was put in place to help us do our job. It also encourages social distancing, as a barrier between us and the patient.”
Centralized scheduling has spent several weeks rescheduling non-urgent tests and procedures in an effort to decrease traffic through the hospital. Through careful coordination with patients and their care teams, they are encouraging that visits that can wait, be put off for 30 days.
“We are still a hospital and we are still here to help patients,” Koren said. “We are urging patients to utilize the COVID-19 Nurse Triage Line. We are still accepting patients but we don’t want you to come to the hospital unless it’s an emergency. We encourage everyone to stay home as much as you can, that’s how we are going to get through this.”