CHAA Examination
Preparation
Pre-Encounter – Session I
Pages 21-33
University of Mississippi Medical Center
What to Expect…
• This module covers various aspects of
Patient Access knowledge found in pages 2133 of the Pre-Encounter section of the 2010
CHAA Study Guide.
• A quiz at the end will measure your
understanding of the knowledge covered.
Customer Service
The goal of Customer Service is simple:
Provide a positive healthcare experience in order to
Create LOYAL customers who will REFER this
hospital to their friends and family.
Patients will get sick again and they will discuss their
UMHC experience with others. Whether or not they
return to our facility, and whether they relay their
experience in a positive light depends on their
treatment by hospital staff.
Customer Service
• This module focuses mostly on strategies and
techniques that lead to excellent customer
service.
• You will learn tips and techniques that if
understood and applied, will create loyal
customers who positively describe their
UMHC experience.
First Impression
• You never get a second chance to make a first
impression. PATIENT ACCESS is often a patient’s
first glimpse at UMHC.
• Their impression is the result of your ATTITUDE and
BEHAVIOR towards them.
• In order to ensure you have the right ATTITUDE and
BEHAVE in the correct way, pretend that all
patients receiving treatment are YOUR LOVED ONES.
Internal vs. External Customers
Both Internal and External Customers work together in
taking care of the patient.
• INTERNAL CUSTOMERS come from WITHIN the
hospital (doctors, nurses, patient access, patient
financial services, etc.)
• EXTERNAL CUSTOMERS come from OUTSIDE the
hospital (suppliers, insurance companies,
physicians, visitors, etc.)
Internal and External Customer
Service
• Everyone involved in the healthcare process depends
on one another. Therefore it’s paramount to build
and maintain EXCELLENT RELATIONSHIPS with
everyone involved in patient care.
• A harmonious atmosphere where departments GO OUT
OF THEIR WAY to help other departments increases
patient safety as well as customer service.
• INFORMATION SERVICES are a vital internal customer
who makes sure our computers are performing
optimally. Can you imagine your job without them?
The Goal of Customer Service
Excellent customer service in Patient Access:
• Demonstrates COMPASSION
• Ensures WAIT TIMES are kept to a MINIMUM
• Is ACCURATE and ACCOUNTABLE with the
information collected
Handling Complaints are Always
a Part of Customer Service
When dealing with an unhappy customer, ask these
three questions:
1. What is the concern?
2. What have you (the customer) done to address the
concern?
3. What would you (the customer) like to see as an
outcome?
Handling Complaints
• You should make every effort to resolve
customer complaints yourself at the UNIT
LEVEL.
• When an issue arises that you are unable to
resolve, notify your supervisor IN WRITING.
Increasing Patient Safety
• Patient safety is increased when patients are made
PARTNERS in their own healthcare.
• Patient Access helps do this by EDUCATING patients
concerning their RIGHTS and RESPONSIBILITIES.
• This is done by giving them PRINTED MATERIALS in
their OWN LANGUAGE in no smaller than 12 point
font.
• Present patients with materials UPON ADMISSION.
Research Shows…
• COMPASSION is as significant as COMPETENCE in
creating a positive healthcare experience.
• Patients will put up with MARGINAL AMENITIES but
have a low tolerance for IMPERSONAL CARE.
• You demonstrate compassion by:
– Smiling
– Making eye contact
– Being Courteous (allowing visitors to enter
elevators before you, etc.)
Understanding Communication
Communication is a successful EXCHANGE of
INFORMATION, not a simple exchange of words.
According to the chart below, how much of
communication is talking?
Communication
• In communicating with others, most people don’t
realize that what you say is not as important as
HOW YOU SAY IT.
• Nonverbal Cues such as your posture, eye contact,
and facial expressions SPEAK LOUDER THAN YOUR
WORDS.
• Sitting up straight, looking patients in the eye, and
smiling tells them THEY ARE IMPORTANT, YOU
RESPECT THEM, AND YOU WANT TO HELP.
Above and Beyond
• The most appropriate way to help a patient who
asks for directions is to ESCORT THEM TO THEIR
DESTINATION.
• When communicating with patients, you must obtain
FEEDBACK from them to ensure your message was
correctly received.
• Avoid using SLANG or MEDICAL JARGON that the
patient will not clearly understand.
Language Specifics
Communicating information can be broken down into
three categories.
• ENCODING- SENDING the message (writing a letter,
typing a text message, using sign language, etc.)
• TRANSMISSION- the MEDIUM through which you send
the message (letter, phone, hands, etc.)
• DECODING- when the receiver INTERPRETS the
message
Nonverbal Communication
• Nonverbal cues are PARAMOUNT in
communicating with patients.
• They give you clues about what the patient
is thinking/feeling which allows you to
adjust your message to meet them where
they are.
Communication Barriers
• Communication Barriers are figurative walls that
prevent communication from occurring.
• Common barriers are anything from a foreign language,
to prejudice, to being too busy, stereotypes, distrust,
etc.
• Barriers can exist on behalf of the patient or the patient
access specialist.
• PARALANGUAGE is a barrier relating to the tone, volume,
pitch, quality, and range of speech.
Overcoming Communication
Barriers
• Navigating communication barriers takes
DIPLOMACY, TACT, and PATIENCE.
• When language is the barrier, avoid using FAMILY
MEMBERS as translators.
• Apply HEAT to the difficult communication
situations:
–
–
–
–
Hear them out
Empathize with them
Apologize for the inconvenience
Take responsibility for action
Open-Ended Questions
Open-Ended Questions should be used when
interviewing patients because they:
• Force the patient to make their own response
• Elicit more than a yes/no answer
• Typically begin with: Who, What, When, Where,
Why & How.
Communication Aids
• REFLECTING ensures accuracy by asking the
patient to repeat what they heard.
• PARAPHRASING is when you repeat what the
patient said in your own words.
• ALL PATIENT PROBLEMS are a big deal
because they ARE A BIG DEAL TO THE
PATIENT.
Technical Competence
Patient Access Associates are technically
competent when they are able to:
1) Ask the appropriate questions for
completing registration and verifying
insurance.
2) Answer patient questions as they relate to
registration and billing.
3) Complete the registration process with a
high level of accuracy.
Can You Please Everyone?
OF COURSE NOT!
BUT
Patients will gauge a staff member’s care by THEIR
PERCEPTION of whether or not the staff MADE AN
EFFORT to understand their UNIQUE SITUATION.
Therefore, make sure the patient sees all the work you
do TO PROACTIVELY CATER TO THEIR NEEDS.
HIPAA
The Three Goals of HIPPA are to:
1) Protect Patient’s Private Information
2) Encourage Electronic Transactions
3) Require safeguards to protect the security
and confidentiality of personal health
information
Remember Who You’re Talking
To
• When exchanging information with patients, you are
to account for AGE SPECIFIC CONSIDERATIONS to
guide your interaction with the patient.
• You wouldn’t treat a four year old the same as you
would a 44 year old.
• You must understand how to interact successfully
with patients of all ages.
Age-Specific Considerations
• School children should be given as much control as possible
and involved in the conversation when appropriate.
• The most important thing to adolescents is PEER ACCEPTANCE
and you should OBSERVE THEIR BODY LANGUAGE for cues about
how they really feel.
• Always maintain eye contact with ADULTS and remember that
they may have many responsibilities (job, kids, aging parents,
etc.).
• Address SENIORS as Mr./Mrs. Last Name and be mindful that
they may not process information as quickly as they used to.
EMPATHY
EMPATHY means understanding the pain of another
and/or sympathetically hurting along with them.
The Research is Clear. According to a Press-Ganey
Survey:
• EMPATHY plays a major impact on a patient’s
impression of a hospital.
• If you’re going to provide excellent customer
service, you’ve got to DEMONSTRATE EMPATHY and
COMPASSION.
Financial Facts
• Hospitals provide medical care regardless of
race, creed, color, sexual orientation,
disability, age, or the ABILITY TO PAY.
• If patient is enrolled in MEDICARE or
MEDICAID, they should PRESENT A CARD at
the time of registration.
• Their information can also be found on the
website.
Insurance
• Patients with healthcare insurance should also
present a CARD at time of registration.
• Most will DEPEND ON YOU to verify coverage and
inform them if hospital staff members are OUT-OFNETWORK and therefore will be more expensive for
them.
• PATIENT FINANCIAL SERVICES normally handles
monthly payment plans and investigates possible
financial assistance.
Customer Literacy and
Comprehension
It’s vital that customers are able to READ and
UNDERSTAND all the information you present
to them.
ASKING QUESTIONS does two positive things:
1. It confirms whether or not the patient
understands.
2. It gives the patient a chance to speak up
and participate in the interview.
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