Patient access expects fast and accurate QA

The patient access department at Methodist Charlton Medical Center in Dallas recently switched to an automated quality assurance (QA) system. "I had recently come from a very automated facility and was well aware of the benefits a good automated system can provide," says Jeanette Foulk, director of patient access.

Patient access leaders looked at several systems, and narrowed it down to a top pick. At that point, they made a site visit to another facility that uses the same registration system as Methodist Charlton and the QA system that was being considered.

This showed the ease of use for the registration staff, along with the speed of QA and verification response time. "With much of the guesswork taken out of the registrar's hands, this should speed up the registration process. When you do not have an automated system, your QA process is only as good as the person doing the QA. It also is very time-intensive."

Staff are immediately notified about errors. "Our current process is staff must maintain a 95% accuracy rating per month," says Foulk. "Failure to do so may decrease staff's performance appraisal, which in turn may decrease the employee's merit raise."

Goals are set for upfront cash collections, QA, and productivity. "We provide monthly incentives for those employees that meet the upfront cash collection goal and meet the 95% accuracy rating in that month," says Foulk. "The incentive amount is increased based on a specific tier level the employee reaches above and beyond that goal."