2017 July

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SCAN Health Plan® believes in improving senior care through better interactions. We offer free Office Staff Training (OST) courses to teach physicians and their staff simple ways to engage with older patients that can lead to higher patient satisfaction and improved health outcomes.

This newsletter is a way to share information about SCAN’s OST training program, including important updates about the courses, helpful tips from subject matter experts, success stories from those who have benefited from the training and what’s ahead in the coming year.

We hope you enjoy the OST e-newsletter and will find it useful. For more information, please email askthetrainer@scanhealthplan.com.
In this Issue:
Train the Trainer Conference
Office Spotlight: SeaView IPA
Trainer Tip: Patient Satisfaction
OST Special Recognition Program

New Course Highlight: Preventing Opioid Overuse

Knowledge Check!

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On Sept. 27, SCAN will host a Train the Trainer Conference in Long Beach. This conference will focus on the patient satisfaction course series. Attendees will have the opportunity to learn the background knowledge, skills and practical tools to enhance the senior patient experience. The agenda will include:
Interactive training, workshops and discussion
Networking and idea exchange
A SCAN executive keynote speaker
Fun giveaways and raffles!
Space is limited. For more information or to RSVP, please email askthetrainer@scanhealthplan.com by Sept. 1.
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Pictured: Gary D. Wikholm, MD; Valley Medical Group, a contracted PCP for Seaview IPA.
SeaView IPA is an independent physician association serving seven cities in Western Ventura County that range from small towns to large coastal communities. SeaView has a diverse network of more than 400 private practice primary care and specialty physicians.

We spoke to SeaView’s Manager of Case Management, Laura Zarate, RN, BSN, about how SCAN’s OST has impacted the practice.

Approximately how many senior members do you see at SeaView? 

SeaView provider offices range from solo practices to large clinics. We collectively see nearly 11,000 Medicare Advantage members. Dr. Gary Wikholm has been a SeaView provider since 1997, practicing in the small town of Santa Paula. Dr. Wikholm has a staff of six and sees 400 senior members in his practice.

How does SCAN’s OST align with your mission and vision and quality activities? 

SeaView IPA is dedicated to improving the health and well-being of our members through comprehensive, high-quality and personalized healthcare services. This goal is accomplished by working in partnership with our experienced and caring provider office staff members, who all share a commitment to member satisfaction. 

The OST program supports SeaView’s mission by providing front and back office staff with best practices and actionable tools to improve the member experience. 

Do  you have any examples of how office staff members have incorporated what they’ve learned? 

The feedback SeaView has received from staff about OST’s 5-Star Service (C.L.E.A.R.) and Dealing with the Angry Patient (H.E.A.T.) courses has been phenomenal. Dr. Wikholm’s staff in particular has embraced the concepts and applied them to daily interactions with patients.

One of our staff members, Dalia, says she is more attentive to seniors when they are filling out paperwork. If they are struggling, she is quick to offer assistance. 

Elena says she tries to put herself in the patients’ shoes. “We don’t know what they had to go through just to get here. Some of our patients walk 12 blocks to get to our office!” 

Liz shares that she is more compassionate and patient now that she better understands the visual changes commonly experienced by seniors. 

The staff members recount with humor how they used to tell patients, “Have a nice day.” Instead, they now say, “Take care” or “I hope you feel better.” Dr. Wikholm’s office says it has sensed a positive response from its patients since making this change. 

Liz sums up the impact this way: “The Trading Ages training has been an overall great experience for this office. We are now more understanding when assisting our patients… and really think about how we approach our patients on their first impression with us.”

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Nancy Schwartz, RN, MBA, is a SCAN OST trainer with 25 years of
experience in the medical field.
When senior patients come in for their appointment, there is so much that has to be done to provide our patients with an excellent experience. One of the most important is being helpful. Most patient satisfaction surveys (such as CAHPS) ask if the office staff was “helpful.”

But how often do we say the word “help”?

It is so important when talking to patients that we ask how we can help. Some examples:

“Would you like me to help you schedule your next appointment?”
“Do you need help finding the pharmacy?”
“Do you need help getting to your car?”
You end your patients’ visit on a high note and it makes for a pleasant day for all staff members involved in the process. You’re also likely to see your patient satisfaction scores go up as a result.
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SCAN would like to acknowledge our appreciation to the following medical groups for their ongoing participation in the OST program:
DaVita HealthCare Partners – Team Primo
DaVita HealthCare Partners – Team Costa Del Sol
AppleCare Medical Group
SeaView IPA
Choice Physicians Network, Inc.
High Desert Medical Group
Each medical group will receive a plaque for its engagement and for completion of at least three OST courses.

 Plaque TeamPictured: SCAN Trainer Nancy Schwartz presenting the Office Staff Training plaque to Michelle Parry, Reyna Arreola and Grace Omana of DaVita HealthCare Partners – Team Primo.

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Senior patients are misusing narcotic pain pills in alarmingly high numbers and many are becoming addicted. Opioid-related emergency room and hospitalization rates are five times higher than they were 20 years ago. Unfortunately, this misuse is not only affecting their health but the health and independence of their family members. 

The Opioid Overuse course will look at the effects of opioid abuse on seniors, their families and their environment and provide effective strategies for promoting safe prescribing of opioids and preventing opioid misuse.

Opioid Overuse is available now. Email askthetrainer@scanhealthplan.com to schedule this session today.


Knowledge Check!

Quiz time! Most of our readers have participated in SCAN’s patient satisfaction courses C.L.E.A.R. and H.E.A.T. The first office to answer all of the below questions correctly will win a prize! Email your answers to askthetrainer@scanhealthplan.com.

1. When patients arrive at your office, what should you do?

  1. Look bored and hand them a clip board to complete their personal information.
  2. Establish eye contact and greet them with a “Good morning” or “Good afternoon.”
  3. Never smile at them so you won’t have to help them.
  4. All of the above
2. It’s important to make sure patients’ needs have been met before they leave the office.

3. When “Taking the H.E.A.T.,” you should always tell patients you understand their problem even if you haven’t experienced the problem yourself.




Who should attend?
Front office, back office and nursing staff and physicians can benefit from training.

Complimentary; SCAN does not charge for these courses.

Choose how you want training for your staff:
A SCAN instructor will come to your offices for in-person training.
Our Train the Trainer option allows you to arrange for someone from your organization to be trained to present courses to your staff. This enables your practice to train as needed on an ongoing basis.
What participants receive
$15 Target gift card for each training they complete (subject to medical group policy)
Complimentary lunch (with in-person training)
Valuable information and skills that can be used in your daily interactions with senior patients
You decide when is best for your site to have the training. Course lengths listed in the catalog are approximate and can be modified to fit your staff’s schedule.

For more information or to schedule training, email askthetrainer@scanhealthplan.com.

What participants have said about OST

“This training was great! It really helped me to remember how to treat our seniors in our office.”

“Excellent presentation. I wished I could have brought the rest of my staff.”
“The best training I've been to in years. Very informative and really made me think different about the elderly. Thanks!”

“Excellent training. Good to teach our younger staff how difficult it is for older patients.”