Keys to Success for Patient Access Managers

By Christine Kalish, Brittain-Kalish Group

All of the graduations taking place this month caused me to consider what it takes to be successful as some of the new graduates move into roles and careers as healthcare managers. One of the key areas that those new managers will be moving into is Patient Access. This is an area that has a spotlight on it with a heightened awareness for the entire organization, due, in part, to the many changes in healthcare.

When I think about it, there are three key areas for both new and existing patient access managers to consider being successful and leading their teams.

Key One:

The first key is to create an excellent patient experience, a task much easier said than done. The Patient Access team sets the tone for creating the overall patient experience. They promote that first impression for the patient and their family. Getting everything right the first time, will, without question, enhance that patient’s experience.

Everything, in this instance, includes ensuring patient financial and data integrity from a well trained staff that has a deep knowledge of processes and procedures and providing a total focus on service excellence.

Key Two:

In order to create that excellent service experience, Patient Access teams must be armed with good data and the proper tools which allows for management of the patient encounter. The second key area is an in depth knowledge of patient management software tools.

Even simple mistakes or shortcuts such as skipping one date or address impacts the downstream revenue cycle and perhaps ultimately the entire patient experience, so proper use of the technology and tools can keep mistakes at a minimum.

Key Three:

While the Patient Access manager and team are providing excellent customer service to the patient, they should also concentrate on being a good partner in the entire revenue cycle team, the third key for Patient Access managers. Remember that any error made up front will impact other aspects of the revenue cycle, causing other folks additional work.

On the positive side, accurate information and adherence to well defined processes will make for a smooth patient experience and set up expectations of payment for the expense that’s being incurred. It also helps all of the organization’s revenue cycle partners, by reducing rework, corrections and cycle time.

As new Patient Access managers advance in their careers, they should remember to focus attention in these three key areas by creating an excellent patient experience, using technology to improve the process and maintain data integrity while continually proving to be good partners with the entire revenue cycle team. This provides a clear roadmap and focus for success.