Windham Hospital Celebrates Patient Access Week - March 30- April 5
WILLIMANTIC, CT, February 26, 2008 – At one point or another, every department at Windham Hospital comes in contact with the public, but the Patient Access Department is often the first contact – and the first impression – people have with the Hospital.
"We work very hard on customer service," says Access Services Manager Fran Boulay "Patients and families coming into our hospital are oftentimes under stress or in a stressful situation. Our job is to ease their concerns in a compassionate and efficient manner."
In an average day, the Patient Access Department handles a variety of requests from many people, including physicians, nurses, patients, and family members. Physicians or their office staff call to schedule patients for outpatient services, and nurses inform Access admitting staff of transfers and bed assignments. 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," Patient Access Staff member, Algi SantaLucia, noted. Sharon Incandella stated, "If we don't do our job right, the problems reverberate throughout the hospital. Our main priority is to balance efficiency with large doses of caring and concern."
Another staff member, Zoraida Mercado, reports that her job can be 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."
In the year 2007, the Patient Access team completed on average over 13,000 registrations per month, including all inpatient and outpatient services. The staff assisted in reducing the number of insurance denials by successfully navigating the insurance eligibility system and securing authorizations. They began collecting co-pays in the Emergency Room and ACU, which will continue to expand over the next year.
During National Healthcare Access Personnel Week, Windham Hospital staff members will take time to acknowledge the special goodwill ambassadors in the Patient Access Department, and celebrate the caring spirit that exists among all the hospital staff. “We will be celebrating our achievements of the past year as we look forward to another year working as a team to achieve our unified goals” stated Darleen Caisse, Patient Access Supervisor as she shared the vision for Patient Access Week 2008.