Introduce access to clinical counterparts
Registrars more comfortable making calls
Registrars at New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in New York City typically hesitated before calling a clinician with a question about a patient’s bed assignment.
"They thought They don’t want to talk to me, I am just a registrar,’" says Brenda Sauer, RN, CHAM, director of patient access. "Now, if I ask them to follow up with something, the response is, Let me call the charge nurse.’"
This change is due to the fact that the staff members now know each other personally. "I believe it is very important, on any project, that the participants meet each other," Sauer says. "This allows team building and helps with communication."
Recently, patient access employees became involved in a patient throughput initiative. Nurses and registrars assigned to bed assignment come together every morning to talk about potential discharges and admissions for their particular units.
"These meetings are run by the bed assignment staff. They are making decision on bed assignments, with input from nursing, as to where the patients need to be assigned and where the available beds are," explains Sauer.
The meetings always begin with introductions of everyone sitting at the table. "This allowed everyone to get to know each other. During the first couple of meetings, you heard many comments such as, Oh, you’re Suzie from bed assignment. I talk to you all the time,’" says Sauer.
If a new charge nurse or registrar comes to a meeting, that individual is introduced to everyone present. These face-to-face introductions have greatly improved communication between the recovery room, emergency department, and bed assignment, reports Sauer.
"Staff are more comfortable in calling each other with issues, because they just spoke to them in the morning," she says.
Collaboration at triage
The partnership between clinicians and registrars has been particularly successful in the ED triage area, says Sauer. The registrar sits next to the triage nurse, so as the nurse is triaging the patient, the registrar is registering the patient.
"It has developed so well that if the registrar is busy and cannot review the sign-in sheet, the triage nurse will do it and ask for any clarification needed," says Sauer. The patient’s handwriting might be illegible, or there might be missing information on the sign-in sheet, for example.
The partnership is also helpful in the ambulance triage area, where nurses obtain the patient’s date of birth, telephone number, and other demographic information. "The triage nurse, during their assessment, will get any information the registrar needs," says Sauer. "This is especially helpful when the patient is very sick."
• Brenda Sauer, RN, CHAM, Director, Patient Access, New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center, New York, NY. Phone: (212) 746-4630. Fax: (212) 746-2891. Email: email@example.com.