Reflection and change…but a renewed energy for and focus on patient-centric care
Since the start of the New Year, the RMACT leadership team has spent time reflecting on 2017; what worked well for our patients and staff, and more importantly, what could use improvement. We turned our focus to the opportunities to grow and change in 2018 and directed much of that focus toward how we can better serve those that matter most...our patients!
One of the things that grounded us during our reflection was the importance of remaining a patient-centric organization. We are treating people - our friends, neighbors, colleagues, members of our community - who are going through an emotionally, physically and, often times, financially stressful time. Regardless of what role an RMA of Connecticut employee serves within the organization, we each have the potential to make someone's appointment/day/experience/treatment better and more positive. So, we decided to start with three roles that do not engage in delivering clinical care, but do have tremendous influence to affect a patient's experience - the Front Desk staff, New Patient Liaisons and Financial Services Representatives.
After reading, revising, then reading, and revising the job descriptions again, we decided to rename some of these positions to not only better reflect their role in our patients’ treatment plan, but also to better represent the intention of this position. We thought about words and titles that conveyed the duties these teams are responsible for and the impact they may have on a patient’s experience. Two terms rose to the top of our list: Advocate and Ambassador.
According to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an Advocate is someone who:
- pleads the cause of another
- defends or maintains a cause or proposal
- supports or promotes the interests of a cause or group
If this does not describe the outstanding work that our Financial Services team does on a daily basis, then we don’t know what does! With this in mind, we are proud to announce that members of this team will now hold the new title of Insurance & Billing Advocate. We believe this fits them perfectly, since they:
- work tirelessly to “plead” on behalf of our patients with insurance companies to access their benefit information
- act as our patients’ voice when asking for reconsideration if coverage is denied
- work hard to ensure that each patient is treated fairly when reviewing charges and payments and that this information is reflected and documented accurately and timely.
RMACT patients will always have their Insurance & Billing Advocate in their corner ready to help.
Our next step was to look at two groups of employees - the staff that works the front desk at each of our locations, and those who schedule all new patient appointments. Since this group of employees are often the first people a patient interacts with, we wanted to ensure we had a clear expectation and understanding of what was needed from these employees. We reviewed both our own as well as our patient expectations of these roles - reviewing patient satisfaction survey data in addition to data collected from a staff survey - and made a few decisions. First, we combined these two teams and formed a brand-new department, which we named the First Impressions Department. The front desk staff will now be known as RMACT Ambassadors.
According to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, an Ambassador is someone who is:
- an authorized representative or messenger who promotes friendship and goodwill
We know that for our practice, these are two vital roles that have the potential to make or break a new relationship. The new First Impressions department is invested in the patient’s first encounter with RMACT and determined to make it a positive one...not only on the initial intake call that our New Patient Liaisons field, but also during every check-in at the front desk.
RMACT is consistently open to feedback and regularly altering processes and protocols to improve the overall patient experience. We understand that first impressions last a lifetime, and insurance and payment can be confusing and stressful, so it is our mission to make these encounters successful and positive. Let us know how we're doing by emailing us at email@example.com.
About Robin Mangieri
Robin Mangieri has almost twenty years of experience in the field of Reproductive Medicine & Infertility. She is presently the CEO for Reproductive Medicine Associates of Connecticut (RMACT). Prior to joining RMACT in 2002 she spent six years working as the Administrative Manager for the Donor Egg and Embryo Program at Cornell’s Center for Reproductive Medicine in New York City. She has served as Chair for the Association for Reproductive Managers, a special interest group of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Robin holds a Master’s Degree from Hofstra University and a Bachelor’s Degree with High Distinction from the State University of New York at Buffalo.