Training Non-Licensed Staff for Effective Patient Advocacy

The healthcare system can be incredibly complex for the typical patient, with overwhelming treatment plans as well as confusing medical bills and insurance policies posing a significant problem if handled poorly. This highlights the need for a proper management system to represent the patients throughout the customer journey, which is what patient advocacy directly addresses. Patient advocacy entails giving the patient the necessary information about their rights to ensure they’re making the right decisions concerning their health and they are being properly represented. This is crucial to any healthcare service because not only does it enable open communication with the patients, but it also helps your business deliver the best possible service to them.

Outsourcing in healthcare has been consistently growing in recent years, with the US healthcare outsourcing market expected to reach $66 billion by 2025. Additionally, a study of more than 500 healthcare organizations and facilities has found that 90% of executives in the industry are considering partnering with third-party vendors.

Having a comprehensive training program for non-licensed staff should be the hallmark of any healthcare business’ customer support strategy. Investing in the professional growth of your team members handling frontlines should be a top priority as it would also reflect on the service you want to exhibit to your patients. Empowering support staff to perform their best effectively makes them better patient advocates.

The Core Principles of Patient Advocacy Training

For someone to become an effective patient advocate, understanding patient needs always comes first. Having both a genuine and profound understanding of who their patient is and what they are going through is vital for them to truly represent and provide support for all the patients they will work with. These include understanding the patient journey and the many common pain points it entails, exhibiting cultural competency and sensitivity, being knowledgeable of active listening techniques, maintaining clear communication, and most importantly, building trust and rapport with the patient.

Second, comes healthcare system navigation. Being a patient advocate would require a vast knowledge of the healthcare system and the technologies that ensure each patient remains in control of their health information. Training should also involve familiarizing staff with key medical terminologies and healthcare in general, as well as safeguarding insurance processes and patient billing information. Also, patient advocates are expected to be able to identify and access relevant resources when necessary and properly advocate for patient’s rights and entitlement.

Lastly, each patient’s journey is expected to come with its own set of setbacks and complexities. An excellent patient advocate should also be in the know when it comes to problem-solving and conflict resolution, which involves performing de-escalation techniques to minimize disputes, carrying out effective communication strategies, identifying complex issues that may arise, and calling them to the attention of appropriate team members, and encouraging collaborative problem-solving.

outsourcing in healthcare

Training Programs and Tools

Scenario-based training is regarded as an extremely effective approach to increase skill and performance among learning. Introducing interactive workshops and role-playing scenarios in your program would expose your staff to various situations they could encounter while on the job. eLearning methods can prove to be useful as well as providing cost-efficient and quick delivery of lessons, more accessibility to up-to-date resources, and even more room to accommodate learners regardless of their learning pace.

Being able to build relationships and remaining resilient are essential qualities patient advocates must possess. Including mentorship opportunities between trainees and those with years of experience in the field would contribute a positive impact on your training program, building confidence and networking skills among your non-licensed staff. With this, inviting healthcare professionals for speaking engagements can further enrich your staff’s knowledge of the industry, hearing important insights straight from the experts themselves. Finally, providing learners with constant performance feedback and regular coaching sessions would help them monitor their progress throughout their training journey and identify areas of improvement.

Measuring Success

Simply implementing core principles and methods into non-licensed staff training is not enough to accurately gauge whether it is successful or not. Certain key metrics should be considered and would play a vital role in improving your program for the long term. Some metrics to consider when measuring the effectiveness of patient advocacy training include the following:

  • Patient satisfaction surveys
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
  • Reduced complaint rates
  • Improved appointment adherence
  • Increased healthcare literacy among patients

Grow your Healthcare Team with Us!

Strengthening your training programs is a surefire way to guarantee your non-licensed healthcare team’s success. By considering the core principles and best practices in patient advocacy training, you get to deliver the best healthcare service that truly prioritizes the patients.

ClearSource’s culture for growth and innovation delivers exceptional solutions that support patients throughout the customer journey. We understand the value of having a comprehensive training program can bring to a business, and we’re here to help you empower your healthcare team to be future-ready. Schedule a discovery call now with Kate and learn more about what makes us the right outsourcing partner to grow your healthcare support operations today.

Kate Nelson CX Consultant meeting link

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