Expanding Access to Health Care in the Face of Provider Shortages
By using technology and expanding the care team, Renown Health is increasing capacity and giving patients more ways to access health care.
// By Cheryl L. Serra //
Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada is a 650-bed facility and the region’s only Level II Trauma Center. Renown serves over a million people across 100,000 square miles, much of it in remote, rural communities.
Like most health systems, Renown is facing greater demand for health care services while being squeezed by provider shortages.
“Like those we serve, we have experienced challenges over the past few years,” says Suzanne Bharati Hendery, chief marketing and customer officer at Renown. “The population of our area has experienced staggering growth of 12.28 percent over the last 10 years. In addition, given significant consumer demand for our providers and services, we have had to get more creative, and more resourceful, to meet the needs of our growing community today, and for the future.”
Candace Dietrich is director of the Customer Engagement Center, the organization’s centralized call center. “The Engagement Center is the front door for the community. Serving as the voice of the customer, we ensure patients do not fall through the cracks of the complex health care system and are able to easily access the right care at the right time through an exceptional experience,” she says.
To better serve patients, Dietrich and her colleagues gathered data to illustrate the issues and then, collaborating with clinical leadership, identified a strategy to improve capacity and reduce wait times for appointments.