Questions Answered: The How To’s of Working from Home
Answers to common questions when establishing a remote workforce.
What else do you want to know about working from home?
During last week’s webinar, Texas Health Resources provided a wealth of information on managing a virtual work program. Questions flowed in, addressing key points that are important to anyone in the revenue cycle trying to do a work-from-home (WFH) program.
If you have additional questions, feel free to reach out to us and we would be happy to provide you with the information you need.
WFH Program Questions
Do you have any employees that are outside of your city or in a different state?
Texas Health Resources (THR) does not, but many Vyne Medical clients do have remote workers outside their city and in different states.
Is there a monetary incentive for working from home?
No, but most employees see work from home as a perk because it is typically less expensive to work from home because of no commute, dress code, etc.
Is tenure a determinant of eligibility for work from home?
In many cases, yes. It varies from hospital to hospital depending on their policies.
If you don’t have internet connectivity at home will the company compensate you a percentage to obtain?
Typically the hospital/health system does not pay for internet connectivity and does have speed/performance requirements.
Do the staff members work from home every day of the week or do they alternate days?
At THR, they work from home 4 days out of the week and come in 1 day. The in-office days are different for each staff member due to space.
Do you have your management team working from home?
At THR, they do not work from home on a daily basis, but everyone has the ability to do so, if needed.
One picture for the worker’s environment showed a dining room table or “open” environments. Is this permissible? If so, are there no concerns for privacy.
Based on THR’s policy, dining room tables/open environments are permissible as long as there are no other parties present at any time during the employee’s shift. If other parties are present, then the teleworking staff member must have an enclosed space to ensure “in-office quality” and security.
Do you have designated IT to support specific for your WFH initiative?
At THR, there is not a designated support for teleworking. The IT help line is available 24 hours a day and our management staff is knowledgeable enough to assist with basic issues.
Do you provide an additional monitor, keyboard, and mouse?
Yes, if needed to conduct their specific job function.
Who is responsible for providing the equipment being used at home?
The health system provides the equipment necessary for employees to perform their job function.
For any “tangible” incentives such as mousepads or other things do you have a budget for mailing things out to staff?
Yes, the health system does pay for needed equipment to perform their specific job function.
Are the laptops used for off-site staff equipped with webcams and do the laptops allow staff to conduct webinars?
Yes, THR’s employees working from home do have webcams which are very useful for online meetings and training.
How do you work from home if staff need two monitors?
Many work-from-home revenue cycle team members use 2 monitors from home if required to perform their job function.
HR, Training & Management
Are there any issues with Union represented staff?
THR has no Union employees, but Vyne Medical does have clients with union employees using work-from-home programs.
Can we get more information on the virtual training and the types of team building you do through Skype and how you do that?
At THR, virtual training just changed this year as a result of staff feedback. It is constantly changing as they learn how best to manage in a remote environment. We used to do a week-long job shadowing for new employees after they did new employee training. We received pushback from best employees who didn’t want to come in after moving to work-from-home. We began using technology for virtual training – shadowing through screen sharing. The trainee can hear the voice, see the screen, chat questions, etc. – watch the entire patient registration on screen.
How much time do you set aside for training? Do you bring in the workforce to to do the training at your site? What kind of training do you provide?
At THR, initial training is one week on-site utilizing a classroom setting. After the classroom, they have shadowing with an on-the-floor rep for an additional week. This shadowing is a hybrid of both in-person and virtual. Virtual training consists of the trainee (who is on-site) shadowing the trainer (who is off-site). A staff member is not eligible to work from home until 90 days of being hired. This way we can evaluate their productivity in-office before they telework.
How do you determine financial stewardship for your insurance verification staff?
At THR, the teleworking staff has the same resources available to them as if they were in-office. They are able to access the same applications and speak to their managers by calling them or messaging them. All of our applications and daily actions are online based, so no paper trail is necessary.
TECHNOLOGY & TOOLS
What vendor and/or application are you using for registration functions, voice recording, and fax?
Invision – Registration host system
Cadence – Scheduling, Opt time
Trace by Vyne Medical – Voice Recording and Quality Assurance, Faxing, Image Capture
Are you able to run the productivity reports shared from your registration application?
Yes, at THR, we can run reports from all of the systems used in the registration process
What tool do you use for your faxing solution?
At THR, we use the FaxCert module of the Trace system as our faxing solution.
Is there a specific vendor you use to track the upload speed of the work-from-home agent’s internet provider?
It’s not a vendor but after looking at different websites, we found this one to be the most reliable. https://www.speakeasy.net/speedtest/
Quality & Performance
How does THR determine productivity?
We track and compare their productivity using their weekly/monthly average against their in-office KPIs. Generally, their productivity increases when they telework. They are still required to maintain our benchmark standards and if they fall below for two consecutive weeks, they are brought back into the office on a temporary basis as determined by their manager to monitor productivity.
How does THR QA the team members?
Electronic (Passport): Electronically identify key data elements that may be missing
Quality Review of phone calls: using Trace. Maintain percentage to stay at home; randomly select recordings and check criteria; produce score; differentiate between WFH and office (compare quality scores when they’re home vs. in office; for example, if they’re home 3 days and in office 2 days)
Checking key data elements captured, tone of voice
Audio search: testing tool to search for key phrases (asking for PCP, etc. – pull all accounts when they asked vs. not)
Attendance is also a performance measure
Track individual monthly scores and comparable (compare performance in office vs. outside): either address with corrective action or bring back to office until scores go up
Do this individually and as team
Hold accountable so work quality doesn’t slip