Patient Access is one of the more under-appreciated components in healthcare. Fortunately, its importance is gaining momentum and organizations are making strides to improve access. Patient Access impacts patient and physician satisfaction, patient care, and has a large impact on revenue.

Elizabeth Woodcock, bestselling author of many Patient Access and Revenue Cycle books at MGMA, started a Patient Access focused symposium in 2011 at Duke University. The success of this symposium was immediately recognized and was held the next year at Emory University and again in 2013 at Vanderbilt University. Attendees at this conference included: Brigham and Women’s Physicians group, Dartmouth Hitchcock, Duke, Geisinger, Mass General, Mayo Clinic, MUSC, Ohio State, University of Pennsylvania, Stanford, University of Alabama, Weill Cornell, among many more. Needless to say, the invitee list was among the very best in academic healthcare organizations.

When the Access Symposium was held at Emory in 2012, I was fortunate to work alongside Elizabeth and a few Emory colleagues as we developed the content and focus for the symposium. Emory Clinic’s Director of Patient Access, Brent Bizwell (now Principal of Access Advisors), invited me to present on employee engagement and how we align employees with the strategic focus at our call center.

My personal success was evident when I was invited by Elizabeth to help develop her keynote speech at the 2013 Symposium. Together, we poured over her interviews with every organization and identified the key trends in the industry and looked at how the various initiatives have changed from the previous year. Throughout the coming months, I will talk about some of these changes that we noticed and I will invite you to talk about the Access trends that you happen to notice and share some of the best practices in your organization.