Providing Access to World Class Care – It’s What We Do!

July 19, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

Here at Michigan Medicine, we work to improve our patients’ access to our exceptional care through many organization-wide initiatives. These include expanding our unique offerings such as Care at Home, developing processes and reconfiguring spaces to provide more beds within our inpatient settings, and much more. 

We also improve access to high quality care through the individual contributions of employees within all of our departments. Whether you are a nurse or a call center representative who takes the time to suggest additional care options, a revenue cycle employee who navigates complicated billing to support and encourage continuous patient care, or simply a welcoming face of a parking attendant or guest services employee, you make Michigan Medicine a place where patients feel welcome. 

Combining all of these individual contributions and more, together we are making great strides towards our BASE strategic priority of Access. Here are some examples of patients who wanted us to know about the critical moments in their care experience that made them feel they belong.

Providing high quality care over the phone

Taking phone calls to answer questions, schedule appointments, and much more allows patients and their families to get the care they need at their convenience.

One patient wanted to thank Registered Nurse Kimberly Lowry for her assistance over the phone. “I called the nurse’s line last Sunday at 10:30 at night frustrated with a rash that wouldn’t let me sleep,” said the patient. “I talked to Kim and she calmed me down and was able to tell me what to get at the store. Within days I felt much better and was so appreciative of Kim’s assistance.”

The friendly, helpful voice of Call Center Representative Ashley Woodrum in the Ophthalmology Contact Center really left an impression with one patient.

“Ashley brought more than her A game,” said the patient. “She knew the right questions to ask to pull out the right answers that would get me the proper care needed. I hope call centers hire more agents like Ashley.”

Elsewhere, Patient Financial Counselor Tonya Thomas was able to assist a patient’s family member to ease their stress. 

“I called in because I did not understand how payments were being applied and how the portal worked,” explained a patient’s wife. “Tonya was very professional and friendly while explaining everything to me and what my options were. I wanted to let her know how much I appreciate that.”

Fellow Patient Financial Counselor, Christine Clark, was also applauded for her efforts in assisting patients over the phone. 

“Christine was compassionate, knowledgeable, confident, and had a great personality,” said the patient. “I am no longer frustrated and will pay in full.”

Being a businessowner herself, the patient commented on how difficult it is to find helpful employees such as Christine, adding that “Michigan Medicine is lucky to have such a great employee.”

Displaying a caring and compassionate nature

In the hospital setting, faculty and care team members work hard to make our care accessible to all patients. By displaying a caring and compassionate attitude and working with a smile on their faces, faculty and staff are able to enhance patient experience. 

Medical Assistant Denise Hill was recently applauded by one of her patients for her caring attitude and quick thinking.

“Denise made a difference by recognizing myself and another ill patient, notifying the physician immediately, and expediting our transport to the Emergency Department,” said the patient. “Ms. Hill’s caring, sharp clinical assessment and quick actions were very helpful. She truly cares about her patients and their well-being.”

Patients are not the only beneficiaries of the great work done by members of our care teams. Recently, Registered Nurse Kathleen Michael was recognized by Audiologist Lindsay Koehler for her assistance and over-the-top efforts.

“I recently had a situation where I ran out of hand sanitizer while seeing a busy patient schedule and Kate overheard my concern and immediately stepped in to assist,” said Koehler. “This small action had significant positive impacts on patient care, patient safety, and provider safety. Her commitment to patients, their families, and providers is unparalleled.”

When patients are faced with potentially stressful operations, the care team surrounding them can make a world of difference in reassuring the patient and making them comfortable. A recent patient wanted to thank her radiology team for their efforts in making her care the best it could possibly be.

“I wanted to voice my gratitude for how comfortable you all made me during a time of extreme anxiety,” said the patient. “You all made me have one of the best MRI experiences I’ve had so I want to give the whole radiology team that worked with me a huge thank you!”

“Having an MRI can be a daunting task for many people and the clinical setting and necessary IV for this treatment contributed to the uneasiness for the patient,” explained Internal Healthcare Administrative Manager Damon Arnold, who was among those receiving the patient’s thank you message.  “With this particular patient the Tech Assistant was very welcoming and was able to calm this patient down and the IV was started with no problems. “

“This patient was happy that my staff listened to her and treated her in a warming and comforting manner. She mentioned the staff was always willing to provide further information and it helped calm her down. She felt confident that the people that were caring for her knew what they were doing, and that she was in good hands.”