Welcome to a look at the volunteer position of Clinic Assistant at Salem Free Medical Clinic. The purpose of this presentation is to familiarize you with the expectations of serving in this way. Grab your pencil and paper and jot down any questions or clarifications you may need along the way.
[click] One of the main reasons to have a person assisting our Providers is not only help clinic run smoothly, but also to make sure we do everything we can to make sure our Providers are able to see as many patients as possible while they are at clinic that day. [click] In addition to making sure our Providers are well cared for we want to make sure our patients are able to navigate through their needs at clinic after seeing the Provider making sure they understand all the additional stops they need to make and get them on their way.
[click] As you establish a relationship with Providers you will know what their preferences are for your assistance. Ask questions so you can best be of service to them: I will be happy to fill in blanks on forms for you if that is helpful… Does it work for you if I interrupt you between patients when medications are ready to be given to a patient? Are you okay with finishing up all signatures and miscellaneous things after we are done with patients? [click] One of the first things the Clinic Assistant need to be familiar with is what forms may be used during a clinic and how to make sure all the necessary blanks are filled in doing as much as possible to relieve the Provider of having to fill in blanks that we can assist with such as names, phone numbers, date of birth, and so on.
Each provider will have a script pad that have an original and a yellow ncr copy. Your patients should be given any original scripts that they will use to purchase medication at their pharmacy of choice (these are the $4 meds). Keep and attach to the chart the original script for any medication that will be obtained through MedAssist. All of the yellow ncr copies are attached to the file for filing by Medical Records later. Several ways to help the Provider with the script process are: to save the Provider time filling in the patient name and date, especially when they are writing multiple orders for one patient…you can fill in that information after the Provider is done seeing that patient. in order for this to work, you will probably need to make sure you have two script pads available so you can keep one to work with while the Provider moves to the next room. we also need the Provider to write only one order per script. So if a Provider writes two orders on a script, you can recopy each order onto separate script pages and have the Provider sign them between patients. Be sure to shred the original script written and throw away. The delicate balance in this process is the ability to quickly scan the paperwork and determine what needs to be done…while still moving the patient in a timely way to their next location so the room can be cleaned and used by the triage staff.
Probably a little less tedious to review would be the lab slips and imaging forms. In both cases, it is important to make sure that [click] name/date of birth/date of order and [click] either the diagnosis or IDC-9 code are listed. These forms will not be processed by Salem Hospital’s lab or imaging department if all of this information and the Provider signature are not present. A quick glance by you will assure that all the necessary information is present. The patient is then given the white copy of the lab slip and the yellow ncr form attached to the chart. [click]
With the imaging forms, [click] before giving the original to the patient, you should request a copy from Medical Records and ask them to fax it to the number on the bottom of the imaging form. The copy is then attached to the outside of the patients chart. The original can then be given to the patient. Let them know that since we have faxed a copy to Salem Hospital, they should expect a call to schedule the appointment. They can also call Salem Hospital (the number is on the bottom of the form). Be sure to offer the patient a Charity Care form for Salem Hospital if needed to defray the cost of the work. It is the responsibility of the patient to complete the forms. All the needed information is in the packet. These forms are available in English and Spanish.
Again with the Dispensary order forms it is important [click] that you make sure the patient number and time you put it into the in box at the dispensary are filled in. Take the time to read it over and make sure that the order seems complete…number of tabs/when to take/quantity ordered. [click] Check to make sure the Provider has signed the order. Anything unusual you can catch…will save time later in getting the order filled.
Listen carefully as the Provider explains either to you alone or as they explain to the patient while you are in the area. This means that as they hand you the patient chart you will need to make a quick assessment to make sure you have the correct forms or next location for the patient to proceed. Examples would be a signed copy of the Project Access request…or a Dispensary form, etc. If you don’t see what you need, you will need to quickly have a plan to obtain them. [click] The check is complete and on you go….
You will need to develop your own strategy for how you will now begin assisting the patient through the rest of the clinic. Here are several things that must be included in your plan for the patient and their chart:
You have already determined from the Provider and by looking at the intake sheet what the patient needs. Prayer is one of the things that will be indicated on the intake sheet. If there is no indication at all … you are welcome to ask if they would like prayer if you are comfortable with that question. [click] Be sure to put the patient number on the card. We review these if they turn them in (which we would like you to ask them to do) and see if there are any improvements/concerns voiced by the patients we need to work on. [click] [click] [click] highlight each of the areas the patient needs to get to during their clinic time. BEFORE you go in to talk with your patient, you need to go to the areas highlighted and see where there is a vacancy so you can take them directly to their next stop. If all places are busy with other patients, you would return with the patient to the lobby explaining that the next place they need to go will call their number for them to come. Go into the exam room with the patient and explain what is on the card (where they need to go, that each area will help them move through and that you will take them to their first stop or the lobby to wait). Be sure to have them ask each area to check the completed box so they know if they are done and to stop at Admitting and turn in the card as they leave giving any comments they may have to the admitting staff. If you take the patient to the lobby to wait…place their chart in the upright chart holder on the counter top of the medical documentation station.
The next thing you need make sure is done is putting the sticky labels on the side of the patient chart for each of the areas you have highlighted on the Patient Checklist. This will help each area know they have a patient waiting. Each area is then supposed to remove the label when they are done with the patient. These labels should be available to you on top of the medical documentation station.
As you look at the patients chart before you finally move it forward…be sure to check the Patient Assessment Form and make sure the triage nurse has signed it as well as the Provider you are working with. Is the Clinic Date filled in? If not…add the date. As you are looking through the Patient Assessment Form, if the Provider has not already given you information about needed follow-up, look just above their signature to the follow up line. Is there something written for future follow-up? [click] ][click]
Remember that not all follow-ups should be in the f/u notebook. We have been encouraging the Providers to let patients know when they need to come back and get in line for a general follow-up (this may be a general you are welcome to return if you have any additional problems or concerns situation), when we will give them an “appointment” which means you will put them in the f/u notebook and the office will call them one week ahead with a time to come (this may be a new medication has been started and the Provider wants to see how things are going, etc.), and when they will be contacted for follow-up after they have completed their lab work or x-rays (in this case no appointment is put in the notebook). In this last situation, if the patient asks questions about results of their lab/x-ray you can remind them that after they have the work done, the results are sent to the clinic at which time the results are reviewed and they will be sent a letter letting them know the results which may include a future follow-up appointment. The office would then call them with the date and time to come.
This position is the touch point for all other staff in the clinic to get information to and from the Provider. You need to run interference for your assigned Provider…For example: Medications are ready for the Provider to give to the patient from the Dispensary MedAssist needs signatures in order to complete their paperwork Scripts you had to write or rewrite for a patient needs signatures And many other possibilities… There is a plexi wall holder for each Provider that other disciplines will put their requests in or you place work for the Provider in and you are responsible to check it periodically and see what needs to be done and when in the process. For example… there are medications ready to be given to a patient means you will interrupt the Provider before they go in to see the next patient to facilitate this/go get the patient for the provider and so on. MedAssist needs a signature may wait until the end of clinic and all signatures are done at the same time. [click[If you have any questions, generally you would check with the RN Coordinator for the clinic with the Clinic Coordinator as your back-up. Please try not to negotiate between other Clinic Assistants or Providers. Let the Coordinators of the clinic help so we head in one direction and stay on track. [click] You made it. Gather your questions and bring them with you when next you volunteer in this position. Come a little early so we can, hopefully, answer them for you.
[click] [click] You made it…job well done! Thank you! Together we make a difference!
Clinic Assistant Overview
• Facilitate Providers seeing as many patients as
possible each clinic.
• Facilitate patient movement through their clinic
experience after seeing their Provider.
Facilitate for Provider
• Know your Provider by asking questions.
• Know the forms the Provider will use during the
course of the clinic and understand the critical
things to look for on a completed form.
• Listen carefully as the Provider explains to you
where the patient needs to go to finish what they
have ordered for them.
Assisting the Patient
• Develop your own plan for how you assist the
patient to their first destination