A growing number of health systems have created entire departments dedicated to the patient experience. There is increasing recognition that the work of patient access affects overall satisfaction. At Springfield, MO-based CoxHealth, the two areas work closely to mutual benefit.

“We utilize the comments that people write in the survey responses regarding their experience in the registration area,” says Kaylyn Lambert, system director of the patient experience department at CoxHealth.

Roger Stone, system manager for admission services, patient registration, and central access at CoxHealth, says there is one dissatisfier that repeats on surveys: “Most of our negative comments are geared around wait times.” This has become a major focus for patient access areas. “We have collaborated with ancillary departments to come up with ways to make our wait times transparent,” Stone reports.

Patients appreciate understanding where they are in the process. “Patients are kept informed of every step of our registration process along with being made aware of what the next step in their visit is,” Stone explains.

CoxHealth’s patient experience department has helped by working with multidisciplinary teams such as laboratory and radiology. The registration process also affects these clinical areas.

“It’s all about helping all parties involved understand each other’s processes and working as a team to create positive outcomes for our patients,” Stone says.