UHealthConnect Wins Top Award for Improvements in Patient Access

The UHealthConnect patient access center has won the “Best Strategic Value to the Organization” Award in the Global Contact Center Awards program sponsored by the International Customer Management Institute. The ICMI is the largest professional organization for call centers, and the awards are the highest recognition in the industry.

UHealthConnect won for its improvements in patient access since operations were centralized in 2012, and the benefits those improvements have had on the entire UHealth system. It is the first health system patient access center to win an award from ICMI in any category.

“This is a very prestigious award for UHealthConnect,” said Pascal J. Goldschmidt, M.D., Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean of the Miller School and CEO of UHealth. “By making it easier for patients to access our phenomenal care, the UHealthConnect team has achieved remarkable results in just two years.”

For example, by improving contact center access channels and incorporating planning and analytics into the clinical practice, new patient volumes have grown by 17 percent, and total visit volumes have grown by 13 percent. Growth has been driven by a 15 percent increase in clinic utilization and a 7 percent increase in per-provider productivity. Those increases contributed to an 8 percent growth in surgical cases and a 10 percent increase in clinical revenues at UHealth-operated facilities.

The volume of service is impressive, too. UHealthConnect provides access across 80 specialty lines, 1,000 providers and 30 clinic sites. Since implementation, UHealthConnect has grown to support more than 8,000 calls daily across scheduling and operator service lines, resulting in 2,000 to 2,500 appointments and 300 to 400 physician-to-physician orders per day.

Further expansion of the center was completed in 2013. The result was a drop in abandon rate — patients hanging up — from nearly 20 percent in January 2013 to less than 5 percent in January of this year. The reason? Speed of service connection dropped from 3.2 minutes to 0.5 minute. In addition, scheduling activity through the center has increased by 20 percent, which has helped support practice expansion while reducing operating expenses within the clinical departments.

“UHealthConnect has increased patient satisfaction, improved efficiency of operations, and had a significant positive impact on the bottom line,” said Joe Natoli, UM’s Senior Vice President for Business and Finance and Chief Financial Officer, and interim Chief Operating Officer of the Miller School and UHealth. “We’re very proud of the team, and we have much to celebrate.”

The UHealthConnect achievements are the result of focusing on three goals — maintaining a single point of entry, providing dedicated clinical practice support, and enabling measurement and analysis. Natoli says that further enhancements are on the way, including a dedicated physician referral line, increased capacity for online scheduling, and electronic appointment reminders via text message and email.

Danny Fleisher, Executive Director of UHealthConnect, is leading the patient access center improvement initiatives with assistance from Dora Maya, Director of Patient Access Planning and Analytics; Kumarie Hayes, Director of Operations; Gardy Excellent, Senior Manager of Planning and Analytics; Kimberly Pacheco, Senior Manager of Call Center Development; and Evicel Ortega, Senior Manager of Operations.

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