CAREER OPPORTUNITY: Senior Director of Ambulatory Access and the Connected Care Center

Patient Access Collaborative Job Posting Spotlight: Senior Director of Ambulatory Access and Connected Care Center @ OHSU

I'm Interested

The Senior Director of Ambulatory Access and the Connected Care Center (C3) at Oregon Health and Science University will provide administrative leadership to the Connected Care Center and will partner with the operational and clinical leaders served by C3. They will also be accountable to driving access-related initiatives that support patient access services, provider and staff satisfaction, growth and capacity management, and advancement of processes and utilization of technology.

This role will be accountable for the operations of C3 which includes referral management/clinical intake, patient registration, financial clearance, scheduling, nurse triage, voice operations/telephony, data analytics, and template management. They will be responsible for ongoing leadership of the Connected Care Center’s strategy, key performance indicators (KPIs), deliverables, quality, and overall financial performance. The Senior Director of Ambulatory Access and the Connected Care Center (C3) will also provide oversight and management of all access initiatives, policies, and guidelines related to quality assurance, training, call volumes, abandonment rates, call resolution, and scheduling workqueues.

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Centralized Refill Management

By Nkechi Okwu-Lawrence and Elizabeth Woodcock

With medications being such an integral part of population health management, handling prescription refills in an effective manner is vital to success. As access teams become more engaged in efforts to improve refill management, it’s important to identify best practices. The Patient Access Collaborative invited three members to present their approaches to refill management, all of which are proving to be a value-add to their organization.

Laddy Rua, Contact Center Manager, Prescription Line, and Kirsten Peck, Contact Center Supervisor, Prescription Line, from Baystate Health discussed the efforts to improve refill management by focusing on their employees. Medical assistants work in the Patient Access Center, answering inbound calls from pharmacies and patients. They use work pools that are strategically managed to level the workload among the team. Per diems are staffed during non-business hours to further maximize efficiencies. Onboarding protocols for new team members include shadowing, side-by-side mentoring, and weekly one-on-one’s.

USF Tampa General Physicians initiated its call center decades ago; while scheduling is the primary function, there is an inbound patient clinical concern team. The team, as described by Christine Kilfoyl, RN, BSN, and Desiree Thomas, LPN, consists of nurses, medical assistants, and a recently hired pharmacist. Approximately 60% of the daily inbound calls to the clinical concern team are for prescription refills, with the team fully handling 80% of these calls. Kilfoyl notes that department relationships are “very, very important” for their team, in order to share knowledge and maintain currency. “Carve outs will kill you,” is a mantra for the team, which aims to standardize workflows and adhere to institutional policies to successfully manage refills in a centralized manner.

Ami Shumway, Operations Director, Loma Linda University (LLU) Health, details the team’s focus on first call resolution. This goal was a key driver of hiring pharmacy technicians, aiming to improve patient satisfaction and reduce the excess administrative burden being placed on the clinical teams where possible. Shumway and other access leaders engaged the LLU School of Pharmacy, which has aided in the recruitment of the technicians, as well as pharmacists and pharmacy students. A mere six months into the project, Shumway highlights that first-call resolution has increased by a notable 64% for prescription-related calls.

For PAC members, head to Webinars to listen to the panel of experts who presented on August 16, 2022 under the title, “Centralized Refill Management.”

PAC New Member Open Forum - Jan 25

Calling all new members! Learn more about the resources and benefits that the Patient Access Collaborative has to offer; get answers to commonly asked questions, like "how do I post a question on the listserv?", "how do a pay a bill online?" and any other questions you might have. Existing members are welcome too!

Each meeting will feature the PAC team and a representative from our Membership and Recognition committee. This month Mike Bachman, Director of Access and Referral Management, Indiana University Health will be joining us. 

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Wrap Codes: A Treasure Chest

Wrap codes – or wrap-up codes – are used by contact center agents to identify the disposition of a call. The code, which is selected by the agent at the conclusion of the call from a dictionary of options in the telecommunications system, identifies the nature of the call. A simple concept, but not one that is always well executed.

Let’s first understand the value of using wrap codes. How many times does a stakeholder ask: “How many calls about appointments is your team getting?”; “Do you make an appointment for the patients for most calls?”; “Why don’t patients schedule appointments?” etc. Although wrap codes can’t answer all questions, they can provide significant insight into the nature of calls if designed with intention.

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Member Spotlight - Submit Yours!

We want to spotlight you! As a member of PAC, you are part of a diverse, knowledgable and collaborative group and we love sharing your stories. The Member Spotlight segment allows us to shine a light on the people who make up PAC - what tips they have, what they take away from being a member of PAC, and personal tidbits to help you get to know them better.

If you'd like to share your story to be featured, please click here or the button below to fill out the quick form OR download as a word document and send to [email protected].

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2023 Virtual Call Center Conference - View the Agenda!

Join us for our 2023 Annual Virtual Call Center Conference on February 8.  The event is from 1:15 to 4:00pm EST with an optional, members-only virtual “lunch” from 12:30 to 1:15pm EST. 

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Member Spotlight: Emily Hamilton

This month the Member Spotlight is on Emily Hamilton, Senior Director at Mayo Clinic. Learn more about Emily below. Want to be a part of our PAC Member Spotlight? Fill out the form here.

How long have you been a member of the Patient Access Collaborative?:  4 years

What do you like about being a member?: The ability to connect with a wide variety of Patient Access experts.

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Webinar: Extending the Value of Contact Center Automation to Employee Engagement

Join us on January 18 for Extending the Value of Contact Center Automation to Employee Engagement webinar. Speaker Tara Mahoney, Global Managing Director, Healthcare, Genesys will be discussing tools contact centers can use to enhance the patient experience.

Genesys provides tools for contact centers to deliver a reliable, scalable patient experience though leveraging the foundation of employee engagement. By supporting employees with automation designed to deliver first-call resolution, Genesys allows health systems to incorporate empathetic interactions with a rich engagement platform designed to:

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Looking for a New Job in the New Year?

Patient Access Collaborative Job Posting Spotlight: Senior Director of Ambulatory Access and Connected Care Center @ OHSU

I'm Interested

The Senior Director of Ambulatory Access and the Connected Care Center (C3) will provide administrative leadership to the Connected Care Center and will partner with the operational and clinical leaders served by C3. They will also be accountable to driving access-related initiatives that support patient access services, provider and staff satisfaction, growth and capacity management, and advancement of processes and utilization of technology.

This role will be accountable for the operations of C3 which includes referral management/clinical intake, patient registration, financial clearance, scheduling, nurse triage, voice operations/telephony, data analytics, and template management. They will be responsible for ongoing leadership of the Connected Care Center’s strategy, key performance indicators (KPIs), deliverables, quality, and overall financial performance. The Senior Director of Ambulatory Access and the Connected Care Center (C3) will also provide oversight and management of all access initiatives, policies, and guidelines related to quality assurance, training, call volumes, abandonment rates, call resolution, and scheduling workqueues.

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Updated Resources Page!

We've recently updated our Members Only Resources page! It's your one-stop-shop for all things PAC - from past symposia handouts and benchmarks to annual reports and past webinar recordings - it's a great resources whether you're new to the organization or a longtime member.

(While you're at it... check out our New Member packet which is packed with information about PAC and membership.)

View Resources Page

Post-Call Survey: Gathering Timely Patient Feedback

There's nothing more frustrating than to discover an opportunity, only to recognize that too much time has already passed. For many PAC members, that's been the case with patient satisfaction survey results that are often released months after collecting the data from patients. The lack of timeliness combined with low response rates have plagued stakeholders. An alternative that shows promise is on the horizon. To address this issue of timely feedback related to access, post-call surveys are now deployed by many PAC organizations in their ambulatory contact center.

What is a post-call survey? After the caller and the agent have completed the call, the caller is requested to score the conversation. The caller may be automatically prompted to provide feedback - or the collection mechanism may be a follow-on text or email. The results are compiled and reported back to management, allowing for near-immediate feedback at the agent or organization level (and often, an intermediate area such as the specialty or department, as applicable).

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Calling All Speakers! 2023 Speaking Opportunities

Patient Access Collaborative is Seeking Speakers for our 2023 Educational Calendar!

The Patient Access Collaborative is planning our 2023 Educational Calendar which includes webinars, virtual conferences and our annual symposia. If you are interested in speaking and can deliver exciting, innovative information that would be valuable to our members, please submit a Request to Speak form.

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2023 Virtual Call Center Conference is on Feb 8

Join us for our 2023 Annual Virtual Call Center Conference on February 8.  The event is from 1:15 to 4:00pm EST with an optional, members-only virtual “lunch” from 12:30 to 1:15pm EST. 

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Launching (and Sustaining) a Team Newsletter to Support Access Center Employee Engagement and Morale

By Matthew Shore, CHFP, Project Manager I, Organizational Excellence

I’m sure it’s no secret to Patient Access Collaborative members that employee engagement and morale are very important in our industry. Engaged employees are happier, more loyal, more productive, and more devoted to the organization’s mission. It is for these reasons that I launched a team newsletter for the access center at Montefiore Health System.

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Webinar: The Great Resilience: How Healthcare Providers are using Emerging Technologies to Overcome Staffing Shortages

December 15, 2022 | 12:00PM EST

You’ve heard of “The Great Resignation” and are well aware of staffing shortages and burnout rocking the healthcare industry. But what about “The Great Resilience”? Health systems are innovating at a higher and faster pace than ever before, using cutting-edge digital strategies and solutions to plug the gaps left from vacant positions and a record 47% of industry workers planning to exit healthcare by 2025. This panel will discuss key emerging technologies and their roles in empowering health systems to defend against burnout and labor shortages, while granting faster and easier access to care for patients.

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Member Spotlight: Matthew Appelle

This month the Member Spotlight is on Matthew Appelle, Director, Capacity Management at Montefiore Medical Center. Learn more about Matthew below. Want to be a part of our PAC Member Spotlight? Fill out the form here.

How long have you been a member of the Patient Access Collaborative?:  4 Years           

What do you like about being a member?: Innovative approaches to similar problems.

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Webinar: Improving Access for Priority Populations on Nov 29

Join us for a webinar on November 29 titled Improving Access for Priority Populations.

Co-authors Emily Godsey, MSHA, Operations Manager, Cancer Services and Dr. Bruce Gamble, Senior Data Scientist, Mayo Clinic, join us to present insights from their recent article in the Journal of Ambulatory Care Management, "Improving Access for Priority Patient Populations." In an outpatient practice, it can be challenging to convert patient demand into completed appointments, even for high-priority patients. One of the barriers to higher conversion rates is excessive appointment lag time, which can lead to nonattendance or cancellation for other reasons. Emily and Bruce will report on a pilot program with 12 outpatient practices at Mayo, representing multiple specialties. The results of the pilot show that improvements to completed appointments can be achieved.

Register Today

Case Study: Weill Cornell Medicine Increases Appointments by 47%

Weill Cornell Medicine, amidst staffing shortages and a push for digital acceleration, searched for a patient engagement solution that would improve website navigation while boosting patient access and acquisition. In just two weeks, Hyro deployed a customized conversational AI assistant capable of finding physicians based on multiple criteria and booking appointments end-to-end, with no training or coding required. So far, Weill Cornell Medicine has increased converted appointments online by 47% with Hyro's conversational AI, while lowering their bounce rate by 31%.

Read the Case Study

Welcome New PAC & CHAC Members!

Please welcome our newest organizational members: University of Mississippi Medical Center, Children's of Mississippi, and University of Colorado Medicine!

University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC) provides patient-centered treatment, clinical excellence, and an advanced level of care unavailable anywhere else in the state, offering primary care, specialty care, and subspecialty care throughout Mississippi. Visit their website.

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Measuring Success

Tina Tolomeo, DNP, MBA, APRN, FNP-BC, AE-C, Senior Director, Patient Access at Yale Medicine shares how her team measures success.


There are a number of ways to measure success in the field of Patient Access. One is to measure performance of the access center, the doorway to healthcare delivery. 

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