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You need to co-exist with business priorities
Patient care and business priorities can co-exist as equal partners, says Jodie Martin, director of hospital admitting at University of Kentucky (UK) HealthCare in Lexington, but "it's up to the patient access manager to facilitate that partnership."
The key to this collaboration, says Martin, "is first and foremost the commitment of executive leadership."
"At our institution, this commitment has resulted in increased opportunities for business and patient care staff and leaders to work together on the mutual goals of excellent patient care and the reimbursement for that care," says Martin.
Martin says that the hospital's physician leadership is very knowledgeable about business priorities, and they are also accessible.
"It is up to patient access managers and directors to take advantage of that accessibility to seize opportunities to enhance collaboration," says Martin.
Martin recommends the following to improve collaboration with physician leaders:
Request meetings with individual physician leaders to ask for their feedback.
Let them know your willingness to work with them to provide the best experience for their patients.
Listen to their ideas.
Offer to participate in work-groups or committees that impact the organization.
Use e-mail and other networking tools to remain visible and accessible.
Seek out opportunities to increase your knowledge.
"Do not confine your learning to just the business aspects of the organization," says Martin. "I often make notes of topics or terms that I hear clinical staff use during meetings. I then come back and 'google' these topics to learn more."
Knowledge and credibility are essential skills for successful negotiation.
"It is important to vet any proposed changes thoroughly in the organization in order to get buy-in from the stakeholders," says Ed Erway, chief revenue officer at UK HealthCare.
At the same time, the business leader must show his or her willingness to eliminate any barriers to patient care that may be due to registration processes or procedures.
"The patient access leader of today has to demonstrate creativity and determination, and be an active partner in their relationship with their medical colleagues," says Martin.