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Introducing PAC's All Access Pass Podcast! Listen Now

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our brand new podcast, PAC's All Access Pass. Join us as we embark on a journey to inspire change and explore the fascinating realm of patient access and collaborative healthcare solutions.

At the Patient Access Collaborative (PAC), we firmly believe that everyone should have equal and unhindered access to quality healthcare.

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This Thursday: Creating Digital Ecosystems that Patients Crave—and that Stand the Test of Time

Creating Digital Ecosystems that Patients Crave—and that Stand the Test of Time
July 13, 2023 | 1-2PM EST

Two-thirds of consumers say they want the same experience in healthcare that they get in other areas of their lives. The urgency to do this often results in a piecemeal strategy that leads to clunky consumer experiences and lackluster ROI. It’s one reason why 83% of the more than 350,000 healthcare apps have fewer than 5,000 downloads.

When UNC Health embarked on a journey to create a seamless digital ecosystem, they were eager to drive value through an optimized patient experience. Partnering with Gozio Health, they have built a mobile platform that offers provider search capabilities, appointment scheduling, Virtual Urgent Care 24/7, access to My UNC Chart, GPS-like turn-by-turn navigation, and many other features—all through a single branded app. Used by hundreds of thousands of patients, visitors, and staff, the app has a 71% reuse rate.

This session will provide an overview of UNC Health’s journey to implement a mobile platform with the flexibility to scale and bring together all digital consumer-facing elements. It will also detail innovative approaches to meeting patients where they are to improve access. Finally, presenters will provide an overview of the common reasons mobile apps fail and how to circumvent these obstacles with best practices.
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Leveraging Technology to Support Safer Transitions of Care

By Katharine McQueen

Getting discharged from the hospital can sometimes feel like getting pushed off a cliff. Patients transition from 24-hour medical supervision, where all needs are cared for, to where “patients must suddenly adjust to little or no clinical support at home.” 1 This dynamic can be challenging and leaves patients feeling vulnerable to relapse and readmission and medical doctors feeling disconnected from the patients’ recovery.

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Member Spolight: Kimberly Labay

This month the Member Spotlight is on Kimberly Labay, Director, Contact Center Support, at NewYork Presbyterian. Learn more about Janice below. Want to be a part of our PAC Member Spotlight? Fill out the form here or click here and email completed form to [email protected].

How long have you been a member of the Patient Access Collaborative?: Approaching 1 year

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PAC Membership Guide - Ultimate Resource for All Things PAC

Make the most of your PAC membership! This guide covers everything you need to know about your membership, from how the PAC started and our mission, to how to view past webinars and ways to access the hundreds of resources available to you. Perfect for new members and long-time ones, the guide covers many FAQs so be sure to take a look!

To view, click the button below (or click here), log in if prompted, then click "New Member Packet."

View Membership Guide

Best Practice Winner: Johns Hopkins Medicine

We recently announced the 2023 PAC Best Practice Award Winners. This award recognizes members who have developed and implemented advances in patient access based on innovative approaches to the timely delivery of convenient, patient-centric care in the ambulatory enterprise of our organizations.

Now, we're taking a closer look at the best practices that won. This week we're spotlighting Johns Hopkins Medicine's best practice: "Developing Leaders in a Virtual Environment: Moving Johns Hopkins Leadership Academy Online"

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Key Success Factors in Centralized Nurse Triage: A Profile of UNC Health’s Nurse Connect

A growing area in patient access is centralized nurse triage. Using a patient “Pre-Call Intent” metric to strategically breakdown and measure patient access opportunities, Laurie O’Bryan, Director of Outpatient Access Center Nurse Connect at UNC Health, examined the value of the metric outcomes in improving the right level of care for patients at the right time.

At the 2023 Virtual Call Center Conference, O’Bryan relayed to the Patient Access Collaborative that what began as a nurse triage to support a single campus health system in North Carolina over 20 years ago has now grown to serve a large, state-wide geographic network of hospitals and health systems. O’Bryan discussed the immense growth in the last few years and the opportunity this development has provided their nursing team, which is centralized and supports an expansive footprint of patients throughout North Carolina. The Nurse Connect team aims to better serve the well-being and access of patients across North Carolina, as well as focusing on diversity and health equity.

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2023 PAC Best Practice Awards Winners

We're excited to announce our 2023 PAC Best Practice Awards Winners! 

This award recognizes members who have developed and implemented advances in patient access based on innovative approaches to the timely delivery of convenient, patient-centric care in the ambulatory enterprise of our organizations.

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Patients Like Walter: The Humanity of Access

Every Saturday, you’ll find me serving lunch at Atlanta-based Trinity Community Ministries. Like you, I consider service to the community central to my personal life. When Walter* came up to me this weekend with a small, white-tattered appointment card, I was surprised to discover that I could glean crucial insight to inform my professional world as well.

Walter, a resident at the center, explained that he had missed an important doctor’s appointment that week – one for which he had patiently waited for months. The social worker had been delayed getting to the center for work that morning, and the van was late to transport him to the appointment. He, therefore, missed the appointment. His next shot, he explained as his voice quivered with sadness, was three months from now. He was, therefore - in my world - a “no-show.”

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Strategies to Improve Patient Access: A Profile of Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist

The role of the patient access call center has evolved over the years from a more linear, transactional piece of health care to a now more robust and increasingly valuable part of a health system's approach to optimizing patient access. Tukesha Parks, Director of Ambulatory Access, and Jennifer Hayden, AVP Patient Access, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist discussed their access journey and the patterns they have observed with their call center since 2012. Their journey exhibits strategies they have employed and multiple "upgrades" through leadership and staff training to enhance visibility, develop accountability and create greater efficiency.

Parks addressed three "foundational components" that drive the outcome of a patient's experience, including a dedicated staff, a training culture, and measuring success through KPIs (metric reporting and scorecards). Parks relayed, "With a dedicated IAS support in place and a technology roadmap, common issues and understanding where the gaps existed became more visible." For example, cleaning up the work queues, closing the call loop process, and introducing reporting dashboards to track referrals and turnaround times are key areas they have continuously monitored to develop improved patient and provider satisfaction. From 2018-2020, a series of training opportunities for front-line staff leaders were rolled out, as did the "WQ Monitoring Tableau Dashboard" to assist managers with tracking referrals.

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Member Spotlight: Janice Finder

This month the Member Spotlight is on Janice Finder, Executive Director, askMDAnderson at University of Texas MDAnderson Hospital. Learn more about Janice below. Want to be a part of our PAC Member Spotlight? Fill out the form here or click here and email completed form to [email protected].

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

What do you like about being a member?:
Hearing how others have solved an issue.

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Congratulations to the 2023 PAC Access Champions

Congratulations to our 2023 PAC Access Champions! We're so excited to announce this year's Access Champions.

The Patient Access Collaborative would like to recognize members who have demonstrated excellence in patient access. Below is a list of individuals who have positively impacted patient access at their health care organization by improving access workflows, breaking down access barriers, or going above and beyond their call of duty to ensure patients get access to their ambulatory enterprise. 

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Webinar: PAC 2023 Benchmarks

The 2023 PAC Benchmarks are ready for primetime! Join us for a deep dive into the nation's best benchmarks for patient access -- and learn about how to access them from the PAC's new reporting platform. 

May 24, 2023
12-1 PM EST

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A Look Back at the 2023 PAC Symposium

With more than 200 patient access professionals in attendance, representing 72 academic health systems from across the country, with great networking opportunities and fantastic programming, the 2023 Patient Access Collaborative Symposium in East Lansing, Michigan, was a wild success. The conference provided a relaxed, discussion-based forum, which allowed PAC members to connect, learn, and understand the initiatives of each institution.

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Member Spotlight: Kristine Allen, MSN, MHA

This month the Member Spotlight is on Kristine Allen, MSN, MHA, Chief Nursing Officer at MSU Health Care. Learn more about Kristine below. Want to be a part of our PAC Member Spotlight? Fill out the form here or click here and email completed form to [email protected].

How long have you been a member of the Patient Access Collaborative?:  3 years

What do you like about being a member?: The collaboration and expertise shared with other organizations that are either on the same journey or at different milestones, always great to learn from others and really feels like we have deepened our bench of resources and support.

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Unfilled Slots: Tackling Non-Arrivals - Part 3

In Part 1, we discussed the importance of gathering and assessing business intelligence, and in Part 2, we learned how to determine prevention strategies. Now, in Part 3, we'll discuss managing the templates.

Manage the Templates. The scheduling template provides an exceptional tool to manage non-arrivals, as they will exist despite all best efforts to prevent them. The issue of non-arrivals is, at its foundation, one of human behavior. Predictive (or strategic) booking is the final pillar to address non-arrivals. Efforts can simply feature overbooking by the number of slots that are, on average, predictably failing to show. For example, if a clinic with 100 slots per week exhibits a consistent show rate of 90%, an additional 10 slots can be built into the template for a total of 110. This overbooking tactic, driven by the "average" experience, however, often fails to engage constituents in a positive manner. In sum, providers and clinic staff quickly become frustrated with the booking strategy and rebel. The reaction is understandable as human behavior doesn't
align with a strategy tied to an "average."

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Unfilled Slots: Tackling Non-Arrivals - Part 2

In Part 1, we discussed the importance of gathering and assessing business intelligence, and we're continuing the conversation with determining prevention strategies.

Determine Prevention Strategies. Many health systems skip over this step, but preventing non-arrivals is an essential part of the discourse. First, incorporating interventions engages all stakeholders. As a health system, the mission is to provide care. If an appointment is granted, it is our duty to serve that patient.  Leading with the discourse about best-practice, patient-centered interventions provides a framework to engage everyone in this important discussion.

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Unfilled Slots: Tackling Non-Arrivals - Part 1

Slots that go unfilled are arguably the greatest challenge in patient access. They represent a failure to accommodate a patient despite unrelenting demand; they also equate to a financial loss, a result no health system can afford today. Our providers’ time is our system’s most important asset – and an unfilled slot represents our failure to be good stewards of that precious resource. Considering the importance of unfilled slots, let’s approach the problem of non-arrivals with three key tactics: gather and assess business intelligence, determine prevention strategies, and manage the templates.

Gather and Assess Business Intelligence. This may seem a simple step, but the nuances of identifying booked slots that don’t arrive are often overlooked. Leaders pull data from dashboards about no-shows, cancellations, etc., not realizing that most of the decision-making for the explanation of the non-arrival is a manual one. When a patient calls to cancel, doesn't show up for an appointment, or a provider requests an appointment to be rebooked, the person who is documenting that transaction is the one who selects the reason for it, typically from a selection set that displays as a drop-down menu. These staff positions - receptionists, call center agents, secretaries - suffer from high turnover. The topic of non-arrivals is just one of a multitude of subjects featured during training; for many health systems, it's one slide during a multi-day training session.

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Welcome New Industry Partner

We are excited to announce two new industry partners to the Patient Access Collaborative: notifyMD! Read more about them below.


notifyMD is a healthcare technology and live voice service provider, offering a comprehensive suite of HIPAA-compliant communication and patient access tools for healthcare organizations. Through its medical answering service and in-depth mobile app, notifyMD's solutions streamline clinical workflows, strengthen patient and provider communications and improve the patient experience. The mobile app platform includes features such as critical message management, secure chat with staff and colleagues and real-time patient updates. notifyMD is committed to enhancing healthcare delivery and improving the patient experience through professional virtual receptionists and innovative technology solutions, all protected by best in class cyber security solutions. Visit their website.

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Managing Healthcare Call Center Stress and Overload: Techniques and Best Practices

Calling to schedule a medical appointment can be stressful. Combine the discomfort of talking about a health problem with waiting on hold, and you got yourself 40% of patients preferring to book appointments online, according to an industry report.

“They’re not calling to schedule a Disney Cruise—they’re calling about their health, their lives,” says Amber Townsend, Director of Contact Center Operations at University of South Florida and Tampa General Physicians, about patient calls.

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