A affected person entry workforce member is usually the primary and final face somebody sees when visiting a Sanford hospital or clinic. They’ve all kinds of duties, together with affected person registration and scheduling.
“We’re form of the bookends to the service,” Sharlene Thompson, director of affected person entry administration, mentioned. “We’re that first base of customer support.”
When the pandemic shut down actions throughout the state, the affected person entry workforce put aside their common duties to assist out throughout the Sanford group. “We have been taking a look at staffing in utterly alternative ways,” Thompson mentioned.
Pandemic introduced a special set of wants
They started by putting in Plexiglas at registration places and establishing temperature checking stations. Some workforce members moved places to assist different areas of the group.
“Final 12 months was extraordinarily unstable for our entry workforce members, as a result of we have been transferring departments round constantly to attempt to create overflow for our emergency division and overflow for departments that have been actually rising,” Thompson mentioned.
Many workforce members moved their work to the entrance traces.
“The drive-thru testing put an unlimited pressure on our affected person entry workforce members,” Thompson mentioned. “How can we now say, ‘You might be not going to work on this location. You’re going to face exterior in a tent, and also you’re going to assist assist this much-needed testing effort, although it’d really feel very scary to be on the market.’”
Hours remained regular
Regardless of the change of their duties, the workforce members’ hours remained regular.
“Our primary objective was to guard their hours and in any method creatively potential to assist them and their households,” Thompson mentioned. “Balancing our wants and the wants of our workers with their household was essential.”
Some households wanted to remain residence when faculties closed to homeschool their youngsters. The affected person administration workforce made it work.
“It turned a lot extra vital to grasp that social construction that our workers have at residence,” she mentioned.
Seeing workforce members in ‘a special gentle’
The pandemic has been eye-opening for affected person entry administration, Thompson mentioned.
“There’s a lot extra past our technical expertise that we have to give to our workers,” she mentioned. “We need to attempt to have our workers get to know each other and their sufferers.”
Along with studying extra about her workers’ wants, Thompson mentioned she’s developed a good better appreciation for the members of her workforce.
“We see our individuals in such a special gentle,” she mentioned. “These individuals got here to a spot the place individuals with this illness got here, they usually did it each single day.
“The appreciation for every individual is a lot deeper than what we had ever felt earlier than.”