Being a large organization has many advantages, but it also has some challenges. One of those is ensuring that patients who seek care at one Baptist entity can stay within our system when they need additional care. In December 2014, Baptist Medical Group (BMG) developed a solution to this issue by creating a referral center.
The referral center started as a pilot with two representatives who worked with two BMG clinics. By the following September, 15 representatives staffed the center, and it moved to a new location. Today, the center’s staff of 35 representatives handles an average of 9,500 appointment requests per month.
The referral center is celebrating a milestone this month; it has processed its 250,000th appointment request. When the center opened, 46 percent of BMG patients were not being offered appointments for follow-up care within the Baptist network. This fiscal year, that number dropped to 15.5 percent. By the end of the year, the referral center expects to process 118,000 referrals and provide a Baptist network option to 99,000 of those patients.
While this is great for us, it’s even better for our patients. Thanks to the hard work of the referral center’s staff and leadership – Robert Vest and Angela Fox – we are maintaining continuity of care and providing a more convenient experience for our patients.