Inservices spur training effort

As part of the new patient access services education program at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, the training staff prepared information packets on 10 key topics, says Brian Palmer, coordinator of the patient access services training and development group.

Those packets form the basis for inservices held regularly for the department’s 120 employees. Topics include:

      • charity care;
      • package pricing;
      • Medicare;
      • Medicaid;
      • completing forms for admission;
      • advance directives;
      • accident report requirements;
      • how access efforts impact the UB-92 form;
      • plan codes and financial classes;
      • entrance program (for illegal aliens).

The training effort, begun in June 1997, has paid off in several ways, Palmer says. Different employees no longer give different answers to the same access question, he notes. "We’re speaking the same language."

In addition, morale has improved, and employees are more likely to seek help when they’re not up to speed on a procedure, he says. "Before, employees who had been here five or six years felt hesitant to go to a supervisor with a problem. They were afraid the reaction would be, You should know this by now.’"

Palmer and the trainers, however, serve as "neutral" points of reference, he says. "We are not judgmental. We just give them the material again and say, This is the way it should be done.’

"We also feel we have better communication [among employees and supervisors] overall," he adds. "There are a lot of concerns and questions being heard and solutions implemented."

The training and development group’s major mission is to "re-inservice and retrain because information is changing all the time," he says. "We also want to create and develop a new inservice for our team leaders, who are called lead workers."