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Rogers implements new patient access improvement initiatives

01/18/23 02:00:pm

At the heart of Rogers’ Mission is ensuring access to our high-quality care for as many patients as possible.

As part of our efforts to accomplish that, a team of operational, medical, and clinical leaders convened over two days earlier this month to identify and prioritize new and immediate opportunities for process improvements.

One of these initiatives is the launch of a newly improved screening process that reduces the number of questions by 50%.

Signa Meyers.jpg“When patients call us, it’s because they need help right now,” explains Signa Meyers, vice president, strategic initiatives, who oversees Admissions. “Decreasing the number of questions means less time on the phone for patients, more efficiencies, and getting patients into care faster.”

To improve the screening process, leaders finetuned or combined duplicative questions and identified different times during a patient’s care to obtain certain information.

The streamlined screening is just one way Admissions is working toward its ultimate goal of “one call resolution,” which aims to provide a recommendation within one hour for the majority of potential patients.

More new initiatives to improve patient access

The team leadership meeting also resulted in the implementation of several other changes designed to eliminate self-imposed barriers, variations in processes, and ultimately, improve access to treatment for those in need.

“Eliminating access barriers allows us to help more patients in crisis and improve our census, which in turn impacts our financial sustainability so that we can enhance support for our Rogers team members,” explains Cindy Meyer, chief operating officer. “From workload concerns to improving employee benefits, serving more patients is key to being a best place to work.”

“Please understand that our team worked collaboratively to identify the best solutions possible for rapid implementation, and we will continue to seek your input as we finetune new processes over time,” says Stephanie Eken, MD, chief medical officer. “We appreciate your flexibility as we work through these changes that will allow us to achieve Rogers’ Mission of helping people to reach their full potential for health and well-being, including both patients and our Rogers teammates.”

For inpatient admissions:

  • Rogers will welcome as many admissions per day as needed based on community demand. We will work to provide appropriate support for our team to ensure a positive experience for patients, families, and our colleagues.
  • Children in the 4-to-9-year-old age range will be able to admit to all campuses.
  • We will begin serving the needs of pregnant women with substance use disorder treatment across all three campuses and all levels of care, as we work to ensure access for this very important and vulnerable population that needs our help. We have done significant work with Patrick O’Malley, DO, medical director, Primary Care, Southeast Wisconsin, and the inpatient teams at West Allis to guide and inform our work.
  • We will continue to accept patients from neighboring states, now including those who need withdrawal management.
  • Assessment of patients’ specific clinical needs will occur after admission in person.

For residential admissions:

  • patientAccess_tn.pngWhen the patient screening (ASI) is completed, the case will be reviewed by a physician assistant or nurse. This relieves the workload of some of our medical staff and allows the medical or clinical leader of the program to focus on reviewing more complex cases. Jerry Halverson, MD, senior physician executive, will assist to help coordinate a final decision for cases that cannot be accommodated.
  • Our new standard is for admission decisions to be communicated to patients within one hour of the screening, when it is not a complex case. The one-hour standard is currently achieved 65% of the time.
  • Patients will admit into residential treatment if they meet the criteria, even if there is no prior partial hospitalization (PHP) or intensive outpatient (IOP) treatment.

For PHP and IOP admissions:

  • When the patient screening (ASI) is completed, the case will be reviewed by a dedicated master’s level therapist or physician assistant in outpatient programs. Medical and clinical leaders will be consulted based on program inclusion and exclusion criteria.
  • We will work with our clinical teams to ensure that we can welcome patients to our full program capacity and will explore additional ways to support our teams in times of higher admissions.
  • There will be ongoing emphasis on leveraging the share plan for flexibility in staffing and use of virtual programming to ensure we are nimble in meeting our patients’ needs. This will also serve to reduce and eliminate waitlists.

Site leaders are providing additional information to their teams. For questions, please contact:

  • Medical staff: Dr. Stephanie Eken, Dr. Sean LeNoue for Outpatient Services, Dr. Khazi Muqeet in West Allis, Dr. Brad Smith in Oconomowoc, and Dr. Christopher Takala in Brown Deer
  • Inpatient care: Barbara Brockmeier, Sr. VP of operations, Inpatient and Residential Services with direct responsibility for Oconomowoc; Derrick Jordan, VP of operations, Brown Deer; Derrick Ellis, VP of operations, West Allis
  • Residential care: Amanda Boeke, PsyD, vice president of Residential Services
  • Outpatient care: Karen Fitzhugh, PhD, vice president, Outpatient Services

An update on the progress of these initiatives will be shared in February’s edition of Insight.

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