For Immediate Release: April 8, 2015
Members of the AtlantiCare Access Center Team assist individuals of all backgrounds in accessing care and services. April 5-11, 2015 is National Healthcare Access Personnel Week, an initiative that recognizes the importance of all patients getting the care they need, and the people who help them. Enhancing access to care is why AtlantiCare created its Access Center ten years ago.
AtlantiCare’s Access Center Team includes registered nurse navigators and health navigators. They have extensive knowledge about all areas of the organization, and know how to find answers.
Bi-lingual health navigators are among the team. Jeanette Vazquez has been at the Center for two years, and has worked for AtlantiCare for five years; Millie Rodriguez has been with AtlantiCare for five years. Michelle Roman, who is new to the Center, has worked with AtlantiCare for 10 years in roles at ARMC’s Patient Access and Clinic Services departments and at AtlantiCare Physician Group Primary Care Plus, where she also linked Spanish speaking patients with the providers and care they needed. In addition to the three full-time bi-lingual staff, there is a navigator who speaks Arabic.
“We are dedicated to finding the answers to patients’ questions,” says Vazquez. “Sometimes, that means calling the provider on the patient’s behalf to get clarification for a patient who has a question. We also help identify solutions for their health and wellness needs – whether it is finding a primary or specialty care provider, scheduling a test, or any other need. Sometimes a family member will call on behalf of a patient.”
Common questions and concerns with which the team can help include
• How to use health insurance
• What to do if a patient doesn’t have insurance • Where to find a provider who meet’s the individual’s needs
• How to schedule tests or an appointment
• Clarification about what a provider said or tests he or she ordered
• What follow-up care they need
“We don’t want to just help them access resources—we want to help them stay healthy. “The care patients get will be much more effective if they understand what they need to do to maintain their health after the office or hospital visit,” says Roman
Some patients are so appreciative of the Center, that they’ve written ‘thank you’ notes to the staff with comments such as, “She went above and beyond to help”; “We appreciated your patience,” and “She was very good, polite and sweet.”
Helping patients from all backgrounds
The Access Center team also uses a real-time, over the phone translation service that provides real-time translation of more than 200 languages, including Mandarin, Bengali, Hindi, Vietnamese and Greek.
“We can assist anyone, regardless of the language he or she speaks or his or her cultural background,” says Rodriguez. “Even if the question isn’t directly related to a healthcare issue, we will do everything we can to direct the caller so he or she will get the help needed.”
For more information about the AtlantiCare Access Center, visit www.atlanticare.org or www.atlanticarewell4life.org, call the AtlantiCare Access Center at 1-888-569-1000, or find AtlantiCare on Facebook.
AtlantiCare is an integrated system of services designed to help people achieve optimal health. It includes AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, AtlantiCare Health Engagement, the AtlantiCare Foundation, and AtlantiCare Health Services. Its more than 5,221 employees and more than 700 physicians serve the community in nearly 70 locations. A 2009 Malcolm Baldrige Award winner, AtlantiCare was also included in Modern Healthcare’s Best Places to Work in Healthcare in 2010. ARMC became the 105th hospital in the nation to attain status as a Magnet™ designated hospital in March of 2004 and was redesignated a Magnet™ hospital in 2008 and 2013.