Patient Representatives

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ABOUT PATIENT REPRESENTATIVE CAREERS
Video transcript

A patient representative is often the first face patients see when they enter a healthcare facility. Representatives help guide patients through the complex world of healthcare. Patient representatives are responsible for gathering background information from patients and informing them about the health resources available at the facility. They explain healthcare costs and may help patients determine how to pay for charges. Before patients leave, patient representatives help ensure they understand how their treatment will work, for example teaching patients to use equipment at home. They also collect and report data on patient encounters, handle patient inquiries, and train volunteers and staff. Working in healthcare facilities involves daily face-to-face interactions with patients. Exposure to illnesses and bodily fluids can be a frequent occurrence, so following protocols to minimize health risks is a necessary part of the job. Patient representatives work schedules vary depending on the employer and patient load, from part-time hours to full time-plus. Typically, patient representatives need a bachelor's degree, though some positions require only an associate's degree.

SNAPSHOT
Assist patients in obtaining services, understanding policies and making health care decisions.
Leadership
HIGH
Critical decision making
HIGH
Level of responsibilities
LOW
Job challenge and pressure to meet deadlines
HIGH
Dealing and handling conflict
HIGH
Competition for this position
LOW
Communication with others
HIGH
Work closely with team members, clients etc.
HIGH
Comfort of the work setting
HIGH
Exposure to extreme environmental conditions
LOW
Exposure to job hazards
LOW
Physical demands
LOW
Daily tasks

Develop and distribute newsletters, brochures, or other printed materials to share information with patients or medical staff.

Read current literature, talk with colleagues, continue education, or participate in professional organizations or conferences to keep abreast of developments in the field.

Refer patients to appropriate health care services or resources.

Investigate and direct patient inquiries or complaints to appropriate medical staff members and follow up to ensure satisfactory resolution.

Explain policies, procedures, or services to patients using medical or administrative knowledge.

Interview patients or their representatives to identify problems relating to care.

Coordinate communication between patients, family members, medical staff, administrative staff, or regulatory agencies.

Maintain knowledge of community services and resources available to patients.

MAIN ACTIVITIES
Getting Information Observing, receiving, and otherwise obtaining information from all relevant sources.
Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates Providing information to supervisors, co-workers, and subordinates by telephone, in written form, e-mail, or in person.
Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships Developing constructive and cooperative working relationships with others, and maintaining them over time.
Assisting and Caring for Others Providing personal assistance, medical attention, emotional support, or other personal care to others such as coworkers, customers, or patients.
Making Decisions and Solving Problems Analyzing information and evaluating results to choose the best solution and solve problems.
Documenting/Recording Information Entering, transcribing, recording, storing, or maintaining information in written or electronic/magnetic form.
Evaluating Information to Determine Compliance with Standards Using relevant information and individual judgment to determine whether events or processes comply with laws, regulations, or standards.
Interacting With Computers Using computers and computer systems (including hardware and software) to program, write software, set up functions, enter data, or process information.
AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE
Customer and Personal Service Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
Medicine and Dentistry Knowledge of the information and techniques needed to diagnose and treat human injuries, diseases, and deformities. This includes symptoms, treatment alternatives, drug properties and interactions, and preventive health-care measures.
Sociology and Anthropology Knowledge of group behavior and dynamics, societal trends and influences, human migrations, ethnicity, cultures and their history and origins.
Clerical Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Psychology Knowledge of human behavior and performance; individual differences in ability, personality, and interests; learning and motivation; psychological research methods; and the assessment and treatment of behavioral and affective disorders.
Administration and Management Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
Computers and Electronics Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
English Language Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
TOP SKILLS
Active Listening Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
Service Orientation Actively looking for ways to help people.
Social Perceptiveness Being aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
Coordination Adjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Reading Comprehension Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Speaking Talking to others to convey information effectively.
Critical Thinking Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Persuasion Persuading others to change their minds or behavior.