Fries with Your Medical Record?
Drive-up windows and curbside services became common in American culture thanks to convenience pioneers such as fast-food restaurants and banks. This simple perk offers ease for the drivers and passengers.
“So why not offer curbside convenience in healthcare?” thought Rachel Burton, medical records clerk at Novant Health Franklin Medical Center.
Many patients seeking medical records at Novant Health Franklin Medical Center require wheelchairs or crutches. Rachel routinely witnessed patients struggle to enter the medical records office. Then it dawned on her: why not take medical records curbside?
“We have staff members willing to provide our patients an added layer of comfort and service,” explained Rachel. “Our patients could really benefit from this extra step.”
The medical records team initially mentioned the curbside option to patients and their family members as they requested records. Eventually patients heard about the new process and began requesting records from the comfort of their cars parked at the hospital entrance. The receptionist at the front desk became familiar with the curbside pick-up request calls and directed them to the medical records office. Rachel and her team took that as their cue to gather their files, dash outside to the patient’s car for necessary signatures, return to the office to retrieve the appropriate copies, then hand-deliver the package to their customers. No matter what time of day – snow, rain or shine – the medical records team accommodates their requests. A once-difficult, and sometimes painful, process for patients is now as simple as withdrawing money from an ATM.
Patients genuinely appreciate the hospital’s friendly gesture. “I remember one woman’s reaction in particular,” Rachel said with a smile. “She was relieved her trip to the hospital was hassle-free. After signing for her record, she jokingly asked, ‘Do I get fries with that?’”