Mission Scheduling Team
Scheduling Team Plays an Important Role in Mission Cancer + Blood’s Care-Driven Patient Experience
When you’re on a cancer journey, there is a lot of information coming your way in a short period of time. The entire Mission Cancer + Blood staff is dedicated to helping patients navigate their path, making it as comfortable as possible. One key component of that commitment is our scheduling team.
When a patient sees their medical care team, there are often multiple follow up appointments that need to be made. That is where a patient access scheduler comes in. Working directly with the providers and nurses, they take charge of making sure the patient knows what comes next, sets up all their appointments, both within Mission and with partnering organizations, and answers any questions they may have about the scheduling process.
“This amazing team provides an extra level of support as they take care of important details, so our patients don’t have to,” said Phil Stover, chief executive officer. “The patient access schedulers are each aligned with physician teams. As a result, they often develop the closest relationships with patients because they get to know their lives outside of Mission Cancer + Blood when coordinating their care. They always go above and beyond, and patients can feel that in the care they receive. They are literally the glue that holds it all together. We are so thankful for this team and they never cease to impress.”
Putting myself in their shoes
Making a patient’s life easier is what it’s all about for Hannah Bird. She is often a patient’s last stop before they leave the office which allows her to update any new orders from the doctor or answer any questions they might have forgotten to ask earlier.
“I always try to think about how I would want my own family member to be treated as they go through this unfamiliar process,” Bird said. “I put myself in their shoes and do everything I can to relieve their worries, be their advocate and offer friendship.”
Bird schedules treatments such as chemotherapies, immunotherapies and iron infusions. Sometimes when a patient doesn’t feel well following a treatment, they will call Bird and know she will take care of their appointments for fluids or anti-nausea medication.
Patients appreciate the support and friendship they receive.
“We have the nicest, most grateful patients,” Bird said. “Sometimes after their treatments are completed, they will come back to say hello and we catch up on their lives. It’s great to celebrate their milestones with them.”
It’s the little things
Patty Jones has been with Mission Cancer + Blood for more than eight years and currently works with three care teams scheduling follow ups, scans, and referrals for patients.
“I love my patients,” Jones said. “I recognize they are going through a scary time and I try to make them feel comfortable and let them know I am there to help them through it.”
As she schedules appointments, she gets to know what’s going on in their lives, their children, pets, trips they’ve taken, hobbies.
“I want to know these little things so I can work with them to live their best life as they are going through treatment.”
Making patients feel seen
When Jessica Harmon meets a patient for the first time, she makes sure she listens to them before asking them to listen to the information she is about to give them. Making sure they feel ‘seen’ is critical.
“I know how overwhelming it can be to process so much information at once,” Harmon said. “I try to put them at ease by answering any questions they have and just listening to their concerns before moving on to scheduling their referrals.”
Listening to what is on their mind and learning about what is important to them is also one of the best ways to engage patients when they come back in a week, two weeks or a month later.
Harmon organizes a patient’s schedule with other providers, referrals, scans and coordinates care with our providers at Mission. Even when a patient is experiencing something unrelated to their cancer diagnosis, she works to help them find the right person and place to help them address it.
“My goal is to put a smile on the face of someone going through something so challenging,” Harmon said.
The entire scheduling team at Mission Cancer + Blood works efficiently and effectively on behalf of their patients, often supporting and helping each other when needed.
“It’s a wonderful group and I couldn’t ask for a better place to work,” Jones said. “I go home every day happy knowing our team helped people and made their lives just a little bit easier.”