Lancaster Concierge Service
In August 2015, Lancaster General Health (LG Health) proudly joined the Penn Medicine health system. As a first step in what promises to be an exciting partnership, we collaborated with LG Health representatives to evaluate the referral process between the two health systems and identify areas for improvement.
We observed and interviewed providers, schedulers, and patients at LG Health and Penn Medicine. Based on observations, we identified five areas an intervention should address: process variation, wait times, travel, care coordination, and communication.
To test our assumption that reducing barriers across these five areas would improve patient and provider satisfaction and increase successful referrals, we piloted a concierge referral line. Patients calling into the line received assistance with scheduling, finances and insurance, and travel.
Over the initial pilot course, more than 170 LG Health patients utilized the service to coordinate care at one of Penn Medicine’s downtown locations. Patients reported that the service made an otherwise daunting process feel personal and that having one point of contact provided peace of mind.
The line also served as a single point of contact for providers from both entities with questions about the referral process, which allowed operational leads to identify gaps in service that needed to be addressed or improved.
In January 2016, our pilot program transitioned into a permanent offering known as the Penn Medicine Concierge Referral Service. Providers interested in making a referral or requesting concierge assistance for patients can reach Lancaster-based liaisons Monday through Friday at 215-834-4656.
In its first full year, the Penn Medicine Concierge Referral Service helped facilitate seamless experiences for close to 2,000 patients.