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Patient Access: Tools and Strategies for the Medical Practice

Book -

Patient Access

Patient Care Technology

Benchmarking Data

Practice Efficiency

Culture & Engagement

SKU: 9052


ISBN#: 978-1-56829-533-6

Patient access is business-critical for today’s medical practice. Patient access impacts appointment availability, the cost to deliver medical care, patient and referring physician satisfaction, as well as your practice’s bottom line. Velocity to treatment is the new competitive advantage for medical practices. 

Patient Access: Tools and Strategies for the Medical Practice addresses the critical components of patient access: provider supply, patient demand, scheduling optimization, telephone management, call centers, virtual communication, and telehealth. It provides strategies, tools, and resources to help your practice effectively manage the patient access challenge.

With this book, you'll learn to: 

  • Balance provider supply and patient demand
  • Cultivate a patient access culture
  • Determine tactics to streamline call handling
  • Develop strategies to optimize scheduling
  • Create best practices in telephone management
  • Enhance communication with patients and referring physicians
  • Provide a detailed road map to design, develop, and manage a call center
  • Develop protocols for virtual communication and e-visits
  • Select systems that can provide an effective telephone platform
  • Benchmark key performance indicators (KPIs) to recommended patient access targets
Deborah Walker Keegan

Deborah Walker Keegan, PhD, FACMPE

Dr. Deborah Walker Keegan is a nationally recognized consultant, keynote speaker and author. She is President of Medical Practice Dimensions, Inc. and a Principal with Woodcock & Walker Consulting. With more than 25 years as a leading healthcare administrator and consultant, she brings knowledge, expertise and solutions to healthcare organizations. Co-author of the MGMA best-seller, The Physician Billing Process: 12 Potholes to Avoid in the Road to Getting Paid and a national consultant on revenue cycle operations, Dr. Keegan's presentations are characterized by a dynamic, educational style and "real-life" case material. She received her PhD from The Peter F. Drucker Graduate School of Management, her MBA from UCLA, and she is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Practice Executives.

 Elizabeth W. Woodcock

Elizabeth W. Woodcock, MBA, FACMPE, CPC

Woodcock is a professional speaker, author and trainer specializing in medical practice management. Woodcock has focused on medical practice operations and revenue cycle management for more than 15 years. Combining innovation and analysis to teach practice operations, she has delivered presentations at regional and national conferences to more than 150,000 physicians and managers. In addition to her popular e-mail newsletters, she has authored several best-selling practice management manuals and textbooks and published dozens of articles in national healthcare management journals. Woodcock is a Fellow in the American College of Medical Practice Executives and a Certified Professional Coder. In addition to a bachelor of arts degree from Duke University, she completed a master of business administration in healthcare management from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania.

Chapter 1 – Overview

Chapter 2 – Strategy

  • Creating a Culture of Access
  • Balancing Provider Supply and Patient Demand
  • Optimizing Provider Capacity
  • Summary

Chapter 3 – Scheduling Optimization

  • Scheduling Methods
  • Strategies to Optimize Scheduling
  • Summary

Chapter 4 – Call Demand and Performance

  • Telephones and Quality
  • Inbound Calls
  • Outbound Calls
  • Telephone Quality and Service Expectations
  • Customer Feedback
  • Summary

Chapter 5 – Telephone Access Redesign

  • Engage Stakeholders
  • Telephone Action Plan
  • Telephone Management–By Call Type
  • Converting Inbound Calls to Outbound Calls
  • Reducing Inbound Calls
  • Summary

Chapter 6 – Telephone Staffing

  • Recruiting Telephone Staff
  • Creating a Telephone Staffing Model
  • Staging the Telephones
  • Staff Education
  • Staff Resources
  • Staff Performance Management
  • Summary

Chapter 7 – Call Centers

  • What Is a Call Center?
  • Key Decision Steps in Call Center Development
  • Staffing a Call Center
  • Call Center Design
  • Summary

Chapter 8 – Virtual Communication and Telehealth

  • Patient Portal
  • Virtual Visits
  • E-consults
  • Summary

Chapter 9 – Communication Tools

  • Telephone Scripts
  • Staff Knowledge
  • Nonverbal Communication Tools
  • Customer Service Tools
  • Message-Taking Tools
  • Callbacks
  • Summary

Chapter 10 – Systems and Technology

  • Voicemail
  • Automatic Call Distributor
  • System Selection
  • Summary

Chapter 11 – Key Performance Indicators

  • Summary



About the Authors

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See What Other Healthcare Professionals Are Saying about This Book:

“Patient Access is essential for healthcare leaders who are responsible for designing and implementing a state-of-the-art patient access management system.  Once again, Woodcock and Kegan have distilled the complexities of access management into a practical, must read book.  Healthcare consumers equate access with quality and this newly revised version addresses the fact that patient access has moved beyond simple appointment and telephone system management.  The book identifies the critical components required to enhance patient access in addition to providing tools, resources, best practices and case studies.   It is the roadmap for transformation in patient access management.”
Christine A. Schon, MPA, MHCDS, FACMPE
Chief Operating Officer
Cheshire Medical Center / Dartmouth Hitchcock
Past Chair, MGMA Board

“Everyone wants a silver bullet with respect to understanding healthcare patient access and call management.  However, these are complicated issues with as many facets as providers who practice within our organizations. Elizabeth and Deborah break down these complications into consumable and manageable parts; providing data points and measures that will guide you on how to make sustainable change.”
Paul Schmitz
Director of Patient Access and Capacity Management
Physician Enterprise Adventist Health System


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