- Square Peg Consulting (www.squarepeg.io).
- Former executive director of ASC.
When it comes to streamlining pre-admissions, too many surgery centers have to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, says Tina Mentz, president of Square Peg Consulting. They're missing great new opportunities to dramatically improve and streamline the process, making it harder both on themselves and on patients. She'll share the secrets and techniques everyone needs to know in "Ace the Online Admissions Process."
- Let patients take responsibility. We still do all the work instead of shifting more responsibility to patients. In this new era, patients are consumers of health care. They purchase their own coverage, pay premiums directly and submit wellness data to help reduce future premiums. Why can't we ask them to take more responsibility when it comes to the pre-admissions process? Cancellations still happen too often because patients don't provide critical information, or don't get the testing they need, or fail to complete preps, or don't follow NPO guidelines. That leads to lost revenue for both the surgical facility and the surgeon.
- Future of online admissions. I'd like to create a virtual registration process. Imagine if patients could complete their medical history online, entering all demographic and insurance information. Insurance verification would occur behind the scenes and communications would be sent to patients with their expected deductible and/or coinsurance. They'd then be prompted to either make a payment or set up a payment plan electronically. All of the other forms that we ask patients to sign or acknowledge on the day of surgery would be reviewed and acknowledged online. Mobile messages would direct patients as to what actions they need to take and when, and would tell them when to arrive. At the facility, they'd be greeted by a member of the clinical staff. Since all insurance and other issues would have already been taken care of, the entire staff would then focus on treating and caring for patients.
- Areas of resistance. We as leaders are often the obstacles. We tend to rely on labor as our solution when we need to focus more on technology. The ideal I describe is not that far away from being reality. The institution that we call health care cannot continue to survive in its current form. It's time to reinvent the space that we want as consumers, not healthcare systems or executives.
- Patient response to automating online admissions. We're all patients at some point. So, you tell me do you want to play phone tag and then eventually tell a stranger every personal detail about yourself in the middle of the grocery store? There's anonymity in providing your information via a secure online portal vs. saying it out loud to a stranger. People tend to be more truthful. Let's take it even further. If I need to tell you something, what's the best way to do it? Do you want me to call your home phone and leave you a voice mail? Do you want me to send you an e-mail or mail you a letter? Or do you want me to send you a text message? Let's not fool ourselves about what the most effective communication method is. People have 9-second attention spans. If we want to tell them something and have them respond to us, we need to start talking to them in 140 characters. This is the new reality we face.
Experience the Birthplace of Jazz
New Orleans is credited with creating the sweet sound of the soulful south, so there's no wonder the city teems with live jazz performers. A few spots worth checking out:
- Preservation Hall in the French Quarter (preservationhall.com) is jazz's mecca and the epicenter of the Crescent City's music scene. The distinctive sounds of Mardi Gras and funeral dirges filter through the heavy night air. New Orleans jazz legend Louis Armstrong once said, "Preservation Hall. Now that's where you'll find all of the greats." It's where a young Harry Connick Jr. tickled the ivories before fame and fortune made him a household name. The hall doesn't serve food or drink, just straight jazz during 3 nightly shows at 8:15 p.m., 9:15 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.
- The Spotted Cat Music Club (spottedcatmusicclub.com) sits on the famed two-block stretch of Frenchmen Street, where jazz lovers stroll to the sweet blasts of top hometown musicians.
- While second-lining between the French Quarter and Frenchmen, bop into the Balcony Music Club (frenchmenstreetlive.com/the-balcony-music-club) for an eclectic mix of local brass sound. Or maybe you want to improvise your way through the night like the city's underground stars, following your ear to create your own magical night of music.