The New Value Roles: The Treatment Coordinator
When my late wife, Shahinool, was undergoing cancer treatment at the Mayo Clinic we got an up-close look at how their legendary interdisciplinary care works. There were a lot of people involved in Shahinool’s treatment plan—surgeons, various specialists, technicians—some of whom we would see once (or not at all), and others who would play a central or recurring role in her care. There was a lot of information to keep track of, for us and for them.
That’s why at the Mayo Clinic patients have one person assigned to oversee and coordinate their treatment. This person connects with all the caregivers, creates value for their services and keeps the patient informed on progress on all fronts. Any question, on anything—how long a treatment would take, how much it would cost, when and where it would happen—this person had the answers and was there to provide guidance. I can’t tell you how reassuring that was during such a stressful time.
The stakes may not be quite as high in a dental office, but the principle is the same. The Treatment Coordinator’s role is to understand everything involved in the patient’s treatment plan so they can be the “point person” for answering questions and promoting case acceptance.
Ultimately, the Treatment Coordinator drives acceptance by helping patients understand:
- Their needs and the dynamics of delivering the care required
- The benefits of each treatment, and the consequences of not proceeding
- Their appointment scheduling options
- Expectations for fees and payments
This value role is essential to the communication of the value of care (and Dr. Frank Spear’s latest innovation, the digital Case Assistant is designed to support this approach in a smoothly integrated way).
The Treatment Coordinator’s value declaration is: I make sure our patients fully understand the value of the care options we provide and I help them make the right choices. My focus on ideal case acceptance ensures the best outcomes for the patient and the practice.
Tomorrow: The Provider