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Patient access leaders at William Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak were seeing record high turnover rates. They reduced these by doing the following:
In 2014, the patient access department at William Beaumont Hospital Royal Oak (MI) had a record high turnover rate.
“We focused a great deal of energy working with staff to create recruiting and retention strategies to help ‘slow the flow’ in and out of our department,” reports Cheryl L. Webster, director of patient registration and hospitality services.
One reason for the high turnover is that more jobs are available at local insurance companies due to individuals enrolling in the Health Insurance Marketplace. Also, many of the department’s new hires are recent college graduates looking for a foot in the door. “As soon as they have achieved some real healthcare experience, the staff can find other jobs,” says Webster.
The department held a series of focus-group meetings, with employees and managers participating, to obtain ideas on how to reduce turnover. Some participants suggested adding some new positions to allow staff to advance within the department.
“We had already added senior registrar positions that were paid one step higher than the registrar positions,” notes Webster. The focus group team suggested adding a few more of these positions.
To become senior registrars, staff members need to meet these criteria:
“As a senior registrar, staff serve as the registration equivalent of a charge nurse,” explains Webster. Senior registrars handle questions from clinical units and other registration staff. “They have some additional training related to technical corrections that need to occur now and then,” adds Webster.
During the final interview with potential new hires, patient access leaders talk about the various advancement opportunities in registration. These include senior registrar, financial counselor, education specialist, and supervisor. “We are hoping to help them think about internal opportunities at the earliest point — before they start looking outside of our department,” says Webster.