MIDDLEBURY–By early spring, Porter Medical Center will be introducing a new “Porter Access Center” to facilitate faster and better access to care for all Porter patients.
“Our Mission is to provide excellent healthcare services, create an exceptional patient/family experience and do so without waste and excessive cost. In assessing areas for improvement that enhance attainment of our Mission, Peter Igneri and Rebecca Woods are leading an effort to create a new “Porter Access Center” by mid-March” said PMC President Lynn Boggs.
According to Boggs, the Access Center will be a centralized and specialized “call center,” staffed by existing and experienced Porter staff members. Staff will handle appointment scheduling, referrals to specialists/other providers and obtaining required pre-authorizations, for our entire network of Porter practices and their patients, as well as new patients and those referred from out-of-network providers.
Patients will continue to call the telephone number of any Porter practice (the current phone number) and their call will automatically be routed to the Access Center. “Our goal is that all calls will be answered within 3 rings by one of the staff members. Staff members will have access to templates and protocols, which are being developed now, for each individual Porter provider using their input. Patients will be scheduled or referred for appointments in a very timely and customer-focused process. When available, we will introduce a single telephone number for patients to use which will be marketed for Porter Medical Center” Boggs added.
“Our staff members within each practice will be able to focus more attention on their patients who are receiving care within the practice locations, instead of excessive phone time which interrupts and slows the patient experience routinely today” she said.
Currently, there is a “pilot program” underway at Primary Care – Brandon, where a group of Porter staff are testing this process with referrals and pre-authorizations. On the first day of this pilot, the staff successfully handled more than 300 referrals/pre-authorizations.
According to Boggs, the “Porter Access Center” will be located in one of the modular office buildings on our campus once some minor renovations are complete. “We are excited to be creating this new Access Center to better serve our community and support our Mission.”