Debate on access’ vs. admitting’ goes on

Hospital Access Management readers continue to weigh in on the subject of whether there is a trend away from using the term "access" to describe the department that encompasses admitting and registration functions.

Keith Weatherman, CAM, associate director of patient finance at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem, NC, says he never liked the name "patient access," and that the two hospitals where he has worked never made the switch.

"Patients don’t usually understand radiology as X-ray or pathology as the lab, so why confuse them more by changing the name from admitting?" adds Weatherman, who says he’s been in the registration business for 25 years.

Patient access is more descriptive of the valet parking function, he suggests. "Admitting seems to encompass the many roles that we have, registration being just one of them," Weatherman says. "I vote to go back to the name admitting.’"

Although Grace Fannon, CHAM, gives her title as "patient access services manager," she says that Clearwater, FL-based Baycare — the health care system for which she works — has changed the departmental name at all campuses back to "admitting."

"The general perception is that no one knew what patient access services was, and even though we formally changed our name, we always answered the phones admitting’ for our patients," adds Fannon, who works at Mease Hospital Dunedin, one of the facilities in the Baycare system.