CHLA Optimizes Care Access and Clinical Efficiency While Improving The Patient, Provider and Staff Experience

Amid increasing demand for clinical services, Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) had significant care access issues to solve in order to drive critical improvement of the patient, staff and provider experience. Huron worked side-by-side with CHLA on the physical and operational establishment of a new centralized call center to address all access and pre-service functions. Huron’s change management strategies implemented in tandem with care access solutions ensured buy-in and sustainability of results.

Challenge

Leadership at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA) sought to improve the access to care in its clinics for patients and referring providers. CHLA needed to create a more consistent pre-service patient experience across its clinics, while addressing clinical demand and planning for anticipated growth.

Approach

Huron worked side-by-side with CHLA leadership and staff to design and implement care access solutions that decompressed CHLA clinics and improved the pre-service patient experience. Key to the engagement’s success was Huron’s change management strategies, which helped generate project buy-in among staff and physicians. These strategies also ensured that improvements were fully implemented and sustained after the engagement’s end.

Optimizing care access. Huron implemented a centralized model that addressed key issues impacting patient access. A new call center was created to help coordinate all access and pre-service functions. The new access model and reporting solutions supported referral management, clinical triage, scheduling, insurance verification, authorization procurement and pre-service registration. Huron also worked with CHLA’s leadership and human resources teams on the logistics for the physical move to the call center and the hiring and training of a new call center leadership team and approximately 35 team members.

Driving change. Recognizing the importance of effectively managing resistance to change, the Huron team utilized proven change management strategies to build active sponsorship for change within the institution. The engagement led to improved staff training, curriculum development, accountability structure meetings and productivity and quality reviews. Huron also implemented a metrics dashboard to help monitor and maintain key performance indicators.

Improving clinical efficiency. Huron optimized CHLA’s access operations by standardizing pre-service coordination and implementing service level agreements between the centralized access center and ambulatory clinics. Huron also reviewed provider scheduling templates and coordinated with physician leadership for recommended changes.

Employee and patient satisfaction. The creation of CHLA’s new centralized pre-service call center led to improved consistency, response times, communication with the referring provider community and a more consistent method of handling referrals and requests for additional information. Huron also helped CHLA establish dedicated functional areas to allow CHLA’s representatives to work in new specialized roles with clearly defined priorities. Patients reported better customer service, fewer delays at check-in and an improved pre-visit experience.

Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles (CHLA) is an international leader in pediatrics, providing care for more than 107,000 children each year. Since 1990, CHLA has been a top-ranked health care facility for children by U.S. News & World Report magazine, including the most recent ranking as the No. 1 hospital in California for caring for children.

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