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HaysMed One Call serves as lifeline

By KALEY CONNER

kconner@dailynews.net

Hays Medical Center has implemented a new program with the goal of making life a little simpler for patients and their families.

HaysMed One Call, a medical concierge service, began in February and is continuing to develop. By calling 855-HaysMed -- (855) 429-7633 -- patients can receive personal assistance in accessing health care or ask questions about the hospital and community.

"Health care is sometimes somewhat confusing, as far as, 'I'm not sure where I need to be or who I even need to call,' " said Shae Veach, vice president of regional operations. "This gains them one person that they can call to ask all of the questions they need to ask."

The resource service is ideal for new patients, who might not know how to enter the health care system, and out-of-town patients, who can call for directions and information about the community, such as lodging options.

"We serve not just Hays and the surrounding area; we serve northwest Kansas and some other service areas, depending upon the service," said Ann Robinson, revenue cycle director. "So that means travel, that means being away from home.

"We maybe pattern ourselves after some of the larger facilities that have a global clientele."

The call service is staffed by two associates who are receiving approximately six phone calls each day and hoping to expand. The staff members have received correspondence from grateful patients, said Medical Concierge Janice Deeds.

"It makes you feel good to help somebody take a shortcut to the answering machines, because they get really frustrated," Deeds said. "I think it's appreciated that it's simplified to get a hold of a doctor or a clinic or something."

Patients and visitors also can visit the staff in person at the hospital. The office temporarily is housed in the customer service area but will be located just inside the main entrance once construction of a new hospital tower is complete.

It's hoped the service also could help patients coordinate various appointments and tests, allowing travelers to visit once instead of multiple trips, Veach said.

"It's a stressful situation anyway, having to deal with related health issues," he said. "But this hopefully will ease the minds of those patients to know that their time here is going to go a little easier and a little smoother."