We sat down with Awilda Rivera, SpecialtyCare’s Manager of the Scheduling Department to learn about the critical role they play in supporting SpecialtyCare’s clinicians and the hospitals we work with, what adjustments have been made during this time, and how they are planning for the months ahead.
What is the role of the scheduling department at SpecialtyCare and what does the layout of your team look like?
The role of our scheduling departments is to provide 24/7 scheduling support to both our clients and clinical teams for SpecialtyCare’s surgical assist, perfusion, cell saver, and IONM service lines. New cases, urgent cases, and case modifications are received throughout the day. Case communications regarding add-ons and changes are made directly to the clinical managers and remote monitoring physicians. Next day-case confirmations are also performed daily for clinical and remote monitoring assignment and staffing needs. We generate notifications at the end of each business day to all assigned clinicians which provides them a clear view of what their day will look like the next day.
How has your team adjusted to handle the challenges COVID-19 has brought about?
Our scheduling supervisors and schedulers are driven individuals that always have placed value and priority on what they do. Currently, we are operating with a much smaller staff of schedulers due to the decrease in caseloads as a result of COVID-19. Considering the recent increase in cases, our schedulers and scheduling supervisors have been working extremely hard in managing the volume of cases in addition to providing identical service and support to our clients and clinical teams.
We’re hearing that hospitals want to schedule heavy loads as soon as they reopen. How will your team transition from slow to go?
We are carefully tracking our daily increase of cases and providing daily communications to our operations teams so that they can see what’s coming. As one Regional President described us, “The scheduling team provides us with a telescope into the future, and for that, we are extremely grateful.”
It might also be interesting to hear the perspectives about a team that mostly works offsite. What’s changed for your routines? Or is this just “old hat” to you all?
All of our schedulers including supervisors and myself have been working remotely for close to five years. While many colleagues are just experiencing working from home, we have had the opportunity of doing so for quite a while now. We enjoy it very much! Having this flexibility allows us to be more available to our clinical teams and clients.
Anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to emphasize that our scheduling staff is truly the first voice that the client hears. Our schedulers are extremely customer service oriented and our goal is not only to schedule a case and support our clinical teams but to build and maintain lifetime relationships with both our clients and clinical teams. I am extremely honored and proud to manage such a great team that works hard to support our customers and clinicians.
Awilda Rivera is the manager of SpecialtyCare’s scheduling team and is based in Georgia. Awilda has been with SpecialtyCare for 13 years including five years with a previously acquired company called NeuroMatix. When asked what inspired her to work in healthcare Awilda stated, “Initially my goal was to become a registered nurse but I became fascinated with the business side of healthcare. Healthcare policies and reimbursements are constantly changing, balancing those changes while providing customer service and support to our clients, and clinicians have made my role interesting and satisfying each and every day.”