At UVA Health System, we have four full-time staff members dedicated to establishing and maintaining strong relationships with referring physicians across the state of Virginia. We spoke to Amy Cash, one of our longtime Physician Relations team members, about her role at the Health System and why you should add her to your list of contacts.
How would you describe your job?
It’s hard to explain what I do — I have to wear many hats. My main goal is to keep UVA top of mind, so I visit with referring physicians to build those relationships. I am on the road three days a week; my territory is along the I-81 corridor, but our team covers the entire state. Some of these are goodwill visits, introducing referring providers to new faculty or signing up practices for EpicCare Link, our electronic medical records system. But it goes both ways; referring doctors often call us to schedule visits as well.
Describe a typical visit with a referring provider.
It varies; I may have 10 minutes if a doctor has a full waiting room. Or I can be there for over an hour if it is a new faculty member introduction. The main goal is to let these practices know what we have to offer. Ideally I would see everyone in an office — office managers, referral coordinators, physicians, nurses; they all have different questions and needs when it comes to the referral process.
We often have requests from different practices to have one of our specialists come in and educate their team on a particular procedure or trial. One of our doctors met with a cardiology team recently at their staff meeting and that worked great because a majority of the staff was there. Our doctors have also joined in on grand rounds with a team. There are lots of opportunities for that type of group interaction.
How do you help providers manage issues that arise with patient referrals?
The introduction of EpicCare Link has been beneficial; many communication issues have been eliminated because doctors can see the notes in the system. Many of the service lines I cover — cardiology and orthopaedics — have a firm system in place for how to communicate with referring physicians; they make a lot of phone calls, they are responsive and often give out their personal email to patients. That makes my job much easier. When I am contacted about an issue, my personal goal is to respond within 24 hours, even if it’s just an acknowledgement that I’m working on the problem and I’ll be in touch. I like finding solutions. Most are issues that I can typically resolve in one week.
What do referring providers need to know about EpicCare Link?
We have over 300 EpicCare Link accounts and we’ve found that those who subscribe have fewer issues with the referral process. Users are able to log in and pull up the information they need when they need it. To sign up, referring providers just have to file an application and within one week the setup will begin. Part of my job is visiting new subscribers and training staff how to use the system. I can train five to six people at once or do one-on-one training — it just depends what works best for each office. Often teams will take their lunch hour to learn the system or they will come in early, prior to patient arrivals. If there are any problems with the system after set up, then I can help resolve those.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I really enjoy problem-solving … and I like variety. No two days are ever the same for me.
Would you like to schedule a visit with one of our providers? Contact our Physician Relations team today.