30-minute session sharpens skills
During 30-minute sessions, patient access employees at Florida Hospital in Orlando have dramatically improved their collection skills.
"Frontline staff are placed in collection scenarios with real-time feedback," says Ramon A. Rivera, MBA, director of patient access.
Every other month, the team attends a 30-minute scenario-based skills lab that helps sharpen their skill set around the following key performance indicators:
• The patient experience.
Staff are expected to acknowledge the patient, introduce themselves, explain the steps that will be taken during registration, and thank the patient for choosing the hospital.
"A volunteer will typically play the patient, to see if the employees do a good job with engaging the patient, getting at eye level, and offering to assist with anything else during the registration process," says Rivera.
The employee is presented with insurance benefits and a "patient" to collect from, and then the employee receives feedback on how well he or she interpreted the benefits and presented collections options to the patient.
"The volunteer patients’ have their responses ahead of time to know if they will be paying or giving reasons they cannot to see how the employee would handle it," says Rivera.
Test accounts are used to see if the employee goes to the appropriate website to run benefits and to see if they can interpret the benefits correctly.
"Adding the insurance to the system is also graded," says Rivera.
• Time management/multitasking.
Emergency department registrars are asked to follow up on multiple patients needing attention to see how they prioritize each one. At the end of the scenarios, the employee receives feedback on what he or she did well, and how to improve.
"Employees have increased their competency with engaging the patient and increased their confidence in offering payment options, as well as tackling any rebuttals," reports Rivera.