New patient access hires are trained at Birmingham-based Children’s of Alabama in the following ways:
• Patient access educators, along with IT educators, teach registration and scheduling classes.
“Every user must attend workflow training, taught by Patient Access Education, before getting access to the system,” says Tara Tinsley Smith, CHAM, MBA, director of patient access systems.
This process includes training in the department’s “COA [Children’s of Alabama] Way.”
“These are workflows that teach staff how to function within our systems in order to prevent downstream issues with other systems and ensure clean claims,” says Smith.
• Six weeks after they’re hired, employees are brought back for a re-evaluation with patient access educators.
“This is done to check their progress and to correct any bad habits that are developing,” says Smith. Preceptors look for these bad habits:
Employees fail to use the “4/2 rule” when performing patient look-up. “Registrars are trained to search for patients and guarantors using the first four letters of the last name and the first two letters of the first name,” explains Smith.
Employees put in too much information when searching for a patient. “In our system, less is better,” Smith explains.
Employees fail to enter or properly search for a guarantor.
Employees fail to review the Financial Clearance prompts on Worklists, which tells employees the amount of the patient’s copay. “They should use these prompts in conjunction with the encounter prep notes provided by our pre-registration team,” says Smith.
• Patient access educators provide managers with an evaluation of the employee.
“Managers use this to target additional training and work toward correcting deficiencies,” Smith points out.