Step forward to share access’ success stories

Hospital leaders often unaware

Your tireless efforts and novel approaches might have dramatically increased revenue and satisfaction at your organization. However, hospital leaders typically don’t connect these great results to the work done by patient access, unless you tell them so.

“It is up to us, as leaders in patient access, to learn how to communicate our contributions, says Pam Carlisle, CHAM, revenue cycle administration and system director of patient access services at Ohio Health in Dublin.

“Patient access is at the center of the patient experience. It is typically the area that has the first contact with the patient or physician office,” says Carlisle.

Revenue cycle data is used to determine operational changes and process improvements, and this step, in turn, identifies the key performance indicators for the entire organization, emphasizes Carlisle. “It is often only the bottom line number that gets communicated. But how did we get there? Who contributed? These are questions leaders outside of the revenue cycle don’t typically get information on,” she says. To let leaders know about patient access’ successes, Carlisle recommends these practices:

• Produce a newsletter to share with leaders outside of the revenue cycle.

Ohio Health’s patient access newsletter is sent to the chief financial officers at each hospital in the network, as well as all revenue cycle managers, managed care executives, and finance executives.

• Take every opportunity to bring up something positive about patient access during management meetings.

Talk about a successful patient experience, a thank-you note someone in your department received, a new process that will improve patient flow, or a new way to help patients with way finding created by someone in your department, suggests Carlisle.

• Make a habit of attending clinical meetings.

“Demonstrate how teamwork and working together can improve the quality of care of our patients,” says Carlisle.

• Produce monthly scorecards and share these scorecards with leaders to communicate progress made by your department in key areas.

Carlisle says to include these metrics: your depart-ment’s customer service scores, employee satisfaction scores, quality, cash collections, patient volumes, claims denials, and clean claim rates.

• Educate your own patient access staff members to be advocates for the front end.

• Volunteer to lead organizationwide activities, such as Heartwalks or United Way campaigns.

“Show collaboration and community involvement from an access perspective,” says Carlisle.

• Schedule quarterly meetings with appropriate vice presidents to keep them posted on patient access.

“Share operational updates and challenges, even if only for 15 minutes,” she says.

• Communicate with leaders simply, clearly, and concisely.

“Use data to drive your messaging, with no ‘fluff,’” says Carlisle. “Make a conscience effort to educate others on the importance of the patient access family within your organization.”


For more information on educating hospital leaders about patient access, contact:

Pam Carlisle, CHAM, Revenue Cycle Administration/System Director, Patient Access Services, Ohio Health, Dublin. Phone: (614) 544-6099. Email: