A patient service coordinator serves as the link between patients and health care providers. He may work for a hospital, clinic or medical testing facility. If a patient has any questions, concerns or comments regarding personal care or the care being provided to a family member, the patient service coordinator is the first point of contact. His primary concern typically is the patients’ satisfaction with the services received.
The job of the coordinator normally involves heavy communications. These interactions can take place on the telephone, through letters and e-mails, and in person. He is commonly expected to be an excellent listener as well as a great problem solver. Knowing where to find answers in the shortest amount of time is commonly required for success in this position. The ability to accurately assess when an issue needs input from other departments or supervisors is also generally considered an asset for a patient service coordinator.
In addition to resolving patient concerns, this position customarily requires good organizational skills. The coordinator is regularly required to synchronize resources, equipment and personnel to facilitate case flows. This generally requires a clear understanding of policies and procedures to effectively spot challenges and resolve them.
A good rapport with physicians, nurses and administrative personnel is typically considered a requirement to be successful in this position. Once the coordinator understands the patient inquiry, he focuses on the most efficient way to find the answer. Understanding who knows what in his organization enables the service coordinator to successfully serve the most patients in the least amount of time.
Besides being resourceful and organized, a patient service coordinator will be most successful if he is positive and energetic. Patients are often anxious, fearful or skeptical of procedures or medical professionals. A coordinator who can make patients feel safe and supported usually contributes to the peace of mind of staff and family members.
In some settings, a patient service coordinator may also be required to monitor equipment functions and assure the proper inventory levels of non-medical supplies are maintained. These professionals often are also assigned to prepare reports on patient communications that include suggested improvements or changes to protocols.
Although no specific formal educational background is required for this position, a high school diploma or equivalent is normally expected. A minimum of three years work experience in a medical services environment is highly preferred. Background in computer operations also is desirable, as is demonstrated excellence in interpersonal communications.