Laura Clemons

NYU Langone Health, Patience Access Center - Foundational Strategies for Patient Experience Optimization (Part 1)

by Laura Clemons | Jun 24, 2021

This two-part article tells the story of NYU Langone Health and its formation of the multi-site Patient Access Center (PAC). PAC was designed to serve NYULH’s current and future consumers and to align solidly with its brand and long-term growth strategy. Part 1 focuses on the formation of a governing Charter as well as two of five foundational elements that lay the groundwork for excellence and a stellar Provider and Patient Experience.    

NYU Langone Health (NYULH) is among the most well-known, fastest growing, and distinguished Healthcare systems in the U.S. with a demanding consumer and provider population. NYULH has a luxury brand mentality and sought to apply that brand from a strategic perspective to the Patient Access Experience. The decision was made to build its own multi-site, state-of-the-art Patient Access Center (PAC) to meet its growth and experience objectives.

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The PAC mission states that the “NYU Langone Health Faculty Group Practices (FGP) Patient Access Center provides a seamless patient journey that creates a perfect experience for every patient, every time.” The Patient Access Center supports strategic objectives for Access, Growth, Efficiency, and the Patient Experience. It leverages technology and the talent of individuals to ensure that patients have easy and timely access to services in the channel of their choice and are given the very best Patient Experience. It is an integral part of the larger “Digital Health” Patient Access Experience across NYULH.

The very existence of the NYULH Patient Access Center is grounded in serving its current and future consumers as well as in being tightly aligned to the NYULH brand and long-term growth strategy. The PAC is positioned as a strategic asset with the highest levels of the enterprise as supporters. The approach taken by NYULH senior leadership was to (1) build the PAC operation with a strong future focus and to (2) work toward meeting both current and future needs of its providers, consumers, and staff. According to Andrew Rubin, Senior VP, Clinical Affairs and Ambulatory, the goal is to “deliver a flawless Provider and Patient Experience for both the short- and the long-term.”


Formation of a Governing Charter 

The combined NYULH and PowerHouse project team created a Patient Access Center “Charter” to document the mission, vision, benefits, and key foundational elements that would drive operational activities. Key aspects of the Charter describe the PAC as a “patient relationship hub” and nimble response unit to support NYULH institutional operations as part of Healthcare’s ongoing digital transformation. 

Foundational Elements that Drive Success

Early on, the project team identified several foundational, operational, and organizational elements to set the operation apart from the factory-like production environments of the ‘90’s and move it toward a more contemporary model found in today’s complex and high-end Contact Center business operations. The team sought to adopt the use of measures that contextualize performance within the framework of the Charter with a focus on the outcome of the contact rather than on duration or volume. Several critical and foundational elements laid the groundwork for excellence and sustainability.   

Access Driven Partnership with Practices/Providers

The relationship between the Patient Access Center and each newly onboarded NYULH provider/practice is governed by a templated “Access Agreement” that results from comprehensive work sessions. The Access Agreement defines the specifics of the relationship as well as the rules of mutual engagement. Guidelines are provided within standardized topics that include: Dedicated Coverage for Transfers, Timely Knowledge Management and Practice Updates, Accurate Appointment Scheduling Guidelines, Registration, Insurance and Billing, Digital Health Portals, Social Media, and Time-sensitive Scenarios.

Practice liaisons work with the Patient Access Center to monitor the relationship. Ongoing cross-functional collaboration occurs to assure that the relationship remains strong and issues are resolved in a timely manner.     

Organizational Model to Support Growth and Excellence

The organizational model of the Patient Access Center was designed to support a scalable operation across locations in Boynton Beach, FL and Las Vegas. The initial model included Director, Operations Manager, Supervisors, Team Leads, and Patient Access Representatives. Support teams within a shared services model were identified and hired for Workforce Management, Quality/Coaching, Training, and Human Resources. The Supervisor role was designed with 25% to 30% of time dedicated to coaching and a scalable ratio of 12-15 to 1.

This model currently supports staff development and role progression within each site.     

Foundational Strategies for Patient Experience Optimization continues in the next issue of Healthcare Call Center Times. Part 2 focuses on three critical elements of an excellence-focused operation: Analytics-based Workforce Management, Learner-focused Training Design, and a Coaching-based Quality Model.

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