The Patient Advocate for SMH functions as a liaison between the patient, family members, medical staff, hospital departments, and community agencies during times of crisis or to resolve patient complaints and grievances. The Patient Advocate anticipates the needs of new patients and makes an outstanding first impression with the patients, family members, and significant others. This employee will maintain confidentiality at all times. Greets and visits new patients daily and orients patients to basic hospital guidelines to improve /enhance patient safety and patient and staff communication.
Assists patients with the Advanced Medical Directives. Works with managers and staff to address Patient Satisfaction and improve Press Ganey reports. Works with Staff Development to provide programs to improve Patient Satisfaction. Assists patients in understanding their rights and responsibilities. Serves as a liaison between patients and families and SMH management and professional staff, providing a specific channel through which patients and their families can seek solutions to their problems, concerns, and unmet needs, i.e. housekeeping or food service issues, nursing or other medical care issues. Initiates action or changes necessary to correct measures taken to the patient or family member. Monitors and evaluates corrective measures taken.
Receives complaints and inquiries from patients or families, either verbally or in writing and pursues appropriate avenues for the solution of these problems as they affect overall health care delivery and support services. Assures patients of their right to voice concerns and file complaints. Works with Risk Manager to meet regulatory requirements related to complaint response timeframes. Maintains current and ongoing detailed complaint and grievance logs and compiles data into statistical charts and reports that are discussed at hospital QA/PI to assure proactive, continual attention to opportunities for customer service improvement. Uses computer applications or other automated systems in performing work assignments and reports. Acts as a professional representative of the hospital at all times with a focus on service excellence and a positive culture. Contacts patients in follow up as appropriate. Assists arrangement for translation services for bilingual patients. Provides informational material regarding available services and programs and conducts educational presentations when needed to meet program objectives. Supports/counsels hospital colleagues in effective complaint resolution. Promptly notifies supervisor for problems related to complaint resolution. Addresses positive comments from patients/families. Appropriately thanks individual(s) for positive comment(s). Shares the positive comment with involved individuals/units. Assures that comments are added to employee's human resource file. Must be able to quickly grasp the regulatory requirements surrounding patient complaints and grievances. Must be able to deal with multiple issues at one time. Must be self motivated and require very little supervision. Must be very well organized and able to make quick changes of direction. Tracks patient satisfaction and HCAHPS results and reports to management. Performs other duties as assigned or directed to ensure smooth operation of the organization. Knowledge of patient rights and regulatory requirements; conflict resolution techniques; a systems approach to problem solving; public relations principles; death and dying/grieving process; medical terminology; hospital operations, policies and procedures; community resources; department and hospital safety practices and policies; infection control practices and policies; department and hospital emergency response policies and procedures. Skill in effectively negotiating a resolution to complex problems; maintaining detailed records; preparing and presenting reports for hospital QA/PI; handling traumatic situations with sensitivity and empathy; use of computers and associated software; maintaining objectivity and exercise judgment in resolving issues; organizing and prioritizing work; communication with a wide variety of people from diverse socio-economic ethnic backgrounds; establish and maintain effective working relationships with all personnel contacted in the course of duties; efficient and safe use of equipment. Preferred: Bachelors degree in Psychology, Sociology, or related field. Hospital Customer Service, Regulatory compliance. Required: Bachelors degree with a Minimum of 2 years prior experience in hospital customer service and patient relations. Knowledge of hospital operations, managing budgets.