What St. Luke's director of revenue cycle's phrase 'Find a need, fill a need' means

Ashley Toney serves as director of revenue cycle and chief compliance and privacy officer at Columbus, N.C.-based St. Luke's Hospital, Atrium Health. 

Ms. Toney will be on panel "The Role of the Revenue Cycle in Elevating Patient Experience" at Becker's 7th Annual Health IT + Revenue Cycle, which will take place in Chicago from Oct. 4-7.

To learn more about the conference and Ms. Toney's session, click here.

Becker's Healthcare aims to foster peer-to-peer conversation between healthcare's brightest leaders and thinkers. In that vein, responses to our Speaker Series are published straight from interviewees. Here is what our speakers had to say.


Question: What are your top priorities today?

Ashley Toney: Creatively using our resources in a nontraditional way to exceed metrics, staff our departments, maximize customer experience, all-around growth and foster innovation to thrive.

Q: How are you thinking about growth in the next two years?

AT: In the back of my mind, I am always thinking about the phrase “Find a need, fill a need.” While this has not changed, the needs and approaches are having to ebb and flow due to current culture. Analyzing data, identifying trends and acting creatively to create a niche are important factors to successful growth.

Q: Where is the best opportunity to disrupt traditional healthcare today?

AT: Personalized healthcare. The current healthcare system is based on a one-size-fits-all type of approach. While standardization is important for quality and safety, there is a large opportunity to make patients feel thought about. When I hear complaints and compliments about patients’ experience, they most often point to the care they received and how they felt considered or not. We must understand how patients’ want their interactions.

Telehealth has continued to grow, but how can we make the patient’s visit in search for a diagnosis most productive? There seems to be less hours in a day than ever before and an efficient approach is key not only for the provider and staff but for the patient. Many people put off care based on time that has to be put in to attend these appointments. Personalization could look as simple as follow-up with care at home after a visit or the actual visit being based on a patient’s preference. Now we have the ability to use technology to help us with these processes. In the follow-up care post visit instance, a text that connects to the provider and their office monitoring, not only helps a patient feel supported and guided in their healthcare journey but likely would reduce the risk for thirty day readmissions.

For patient preferences, EMRs could have a patient profile that supports what makes a patient feel most comfortable. While realizing the hospital is not a spa, being in the hospital can be a scary time for patients and their family and simple, thoughtful actions can have a big impact on how patients feel about their care.

How can we be intentional with our approach? With healthcare growth being vital to surviving, patient experience and satisfaction is key to any kind of continued growth. Now more than ever, with the ability to monitor consumer behavior we have a large opportunity, especially if companies that have mastered this start penetrating healthcare.

Q: What are you most excited about for the future?

AT: I am sure anyone who has been in healthcare for any stretch of time can remember manual healthcare. While the revenue cycle side of healthcare has evolved to more technology integration and there are many vendors to help with this, access and tailored integration can be improved, especially in regards to smaller facilities.

In these facilities, automation is even more crucial given the roles and functions of teammates as well as the financial impact. While facility financial ability can be of issue, the larger issue is the lack of integration based on actual needs and personalization. The idea of a truly tailored process and seamless integration is exciting based on the need for true automation.

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