Last year the surgery schedulers and authorization coordinators scheduled 6,936 surgeries and took over 20,000 calls. In case you are wondering why there are three times as many calls as scheduled surgeries, it is because scheduling surgery takes a lot of communication. The surgery scheduling team consists of twelve wonderful ladies who work with providers, patients and insurance companies to ensure that patients are able to have a stress free surgery.
Their job duties include requesting and receiving insurance authorizations for surgical procedures, contacting patients and then matching their schedule with the doctor’s schedule at either the hospital or the Lakewood Surgery Center, getting patient info to the hospital or LSC, communicating with patients about surgical clearances and mailing packets of information to patients about preparing for surgery. That’s a lot of teamwork! Once that is done, they even schedule the preoperative and postoperative appointments. With so many people involved no wonder these ladies take so many calls.
It comes as no surprise that the most challenging aspect of their jobs is accommodating all the different people involved. It can be a struggle to get the insurance company to send an authorization in a timely manner and schedule the surgery using the dates allotted by the insurance company. The most rewarding part of their jobs stem from the very people they are working with; patients and providers. Compliments from both the provider and patients who are grateful for making their lives a little easier. Especially for those about to go into surgery as it can be a stressful time.
Having such a large team means having a diverse crew. When asked separately what their department strength was, a very common answer was communication. One comment was “This team has great communication, great team work, always willing to help in any minute, great patience and grace, and always a friendly phone voice. They are never negative or acting like they are bothered because they have too much to do. They never put off what is urgently needed. They are all around a solid foundation of hard working, knowledgeable and dependable group of people.” The team on their free time enjoys spending time with their family, attending sporting events, baking, camping, and being outside.
It is awesome to see these committed ladies come together and work with so many different people on a daily basis and excel at what they do. Thank you for the amazing dedication you bring to our office!
Written by Gavin Smith for Puget Sound Orthopaedics