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Member Spotlight - May 2016
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Amanda Walker, CPXP, BSN


Vice President, Patient Experience
Heritage Biologics, Inc.
Lee’s Summit, Missouri
In her role, Amanda's primary goal is to serve as a key member of the leadership team and lead the PX division by creating a patient-centered culture that inspires and reflects human kindness, determination and patient advocacy within each role. Relationship management with patients, families, Heritage Biologics staff, manufacturers and all healthcare providers and stakeholders is a focus of her day-to-day activities, along with creating key programs that help build the patient experience plan within the organization and the community. Amanda directly oversees the admissions team members as well as the nursing staff and PX manager, and helps to create the ideal patient experience starting at the referral and admission process, until the patient is discharged.

WHAT IS YOUR MOST SIGNIFICANT ACCOMPLISHMENT IN YOUR ROLE?

I started with the organization at the beginning of June and was tasked with leading the company through ACHC accreditation. With the help of a small team of co-workers, we officially created and wrote all of our policies and procedures, submitted and successfully achieved accreditation at both of our locations this March! Going through accreditation organically has helped to create the culture of patient experience in all aspects of our services, from admissions to pharmacy to nursing.
 
Lastly, I would say that having the opportunity to be the first Vice President of Patient Experience in the pharmacy world is very significant for me both as a nurse and as a leader. Throughout my nursing career I have seen the highs and lows of healthcare and how it directly affects the patient and their family. On a daily basis not only am I speaking to patients and caregivers, I am teaching and training our entire staff to be patient centered in every thought they have, phone call they make and every communication they have with patients, care givers and physicians.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE YOU ARE CURRENTLY FACING?

Truly the biggest challenge that we are experiencing is continuity of care for patients that discharge from the hospital or physician’s office. When a patient transitions to an outpatient setting (especially their home), the Specialty and Home Infusion Pharmacy is the link between their healthcare provider and themselves. An uninformed or disengaged patient at this stage is in dire need of Patient Experience service and this is where our pharmacy, Heritage Biologics offers a solution. RXPX has recognized that our value as a rare disease Specialty Pharmacy and Home Infusion provider hinges on our effectiveness in collaborative medicine. We have recognized that providing preeminent pharmacy services is a major function of our organization, but our primary mission is to provide a Patient Experience that leads to positive health outcomes. The growing emphasis on transitioning patients to outpatient care continues to highlight the ever increasing importance of dynamic pharmacy services. We at Heritage Biologics recognized this trend and launched the "RXPX.healthcare” initiative in an effort to partner with outside pharmacies interested in developing their own formal RXPX program. Sharing best practices across the pharmacy landscape will advance care more rapidly and improve patient’s lives, and will eventually narrow the gap of continuity of care.

WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS ON THE FUTURE OF PATIENT EXPERIENCE?

I cherished the high touch I had with all of my patients, as well as the staff that I trained in my previous positions as a floor nurse and then as a nurse educator. The only part that was missing for me was the continuity of care after the patients were discharged. What happened to these patients after they left my care? Who was explaining medication interactions, what certain medications do for what, etc.? Who was there helping them, if I wasn’t? When the VP of Patient Experience role was introduced to me, it was truly the missing link that I had always wanted to be. I am the bridge from the healthcare provider (whether it is a PCP or hospital discharge) to the patient, serving as the communication tool that both have at their disposal. Whether it is conveying medication orders to a patient, explaining that we have found a copay assistance program that will help cover an expensive copay, or finding a support group that will help the patient understand their disease state, I am the middleman, the bridge, the way of the future in Specialty Pharmacy. Patient Experience is a must from here on out! There must be someone that can follow a patient through all the ups and downs, the office visits, the hospital stays, the lab work and results. A helping hand that is always there to lend support to not only the patient, but their caregiver and support system.

WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN WHEN NOT WORKING?

I love to travel the world with my husband. We have been very fortunate to see so many beautiful places and experience many different cultures! We have a one year old Goldendoodle that consumes much of our time on the evenings and weekends, but we wouldn’t have it any other way! I also love to spend time with family and friends as much as possible.

WHY DID YOU JOIN THE BERYL INSTITUTE?

Our vision at Heritage Biologics is "trailblazing a patient-centered healthcare experience that improves lives”. The Beryl Institute serves as a valuable resource with a very supportive community of members that all share the same vision and values that not only our organization has, but also that I share personally. Being newer to the title of "Vice President PX”, I have very much appreciated and enjoyed the Body of Knowledge courses, and the commitment that The Beryl Institute has to the Patient Experience is clearly unmatched. I look forward to the evolution of Patient Experience as it continues to change and can’t wait to see how The Beryl Institute continues to grow and advance the Patient Experience movement.

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