Customer service with a smile

Friday, December 21, 2007

Putnam County Hospital Board members quizzed the hospital's chief financial officer Wednesday about customer service when it comes time for patients to pay their bills.

Hospital chief accountant Roger Boruff said the customer service for hospital bill payers "not an acceptable situation," but he and other administrators are working to improve the situation.

Board member David Bray said he has heard of problems from patients getting calls returned from hospital employees. Hospital board member Fred Mann said he has heard similar complaints.

Boruff said part of the problem rests with the hospitals overworked billing system and he and Hospital Administrator Dennis Weatherford are working with the software vendor to correct some of the problems.

He and Weatherford are also coaching hospital staff members to be more responsive to customers.

Hospital Building Director Jody Fox said the new $1.2 million cancer center is all but complete. Only a handful of finishing touches remain before the center can open.

Weatherford said the hospital is planning on playing host to a grand opening during the second week in January.

Board member Dennis O'Hair also asked Fox to erect temporary signs in the hospital to help patrons navigate the new wing.

The board also approved the purchase of a $8,300 e-mail filter that promises to block 99 percent of incoming spam mail.

Currently, Weatherford said, hospital employees receive an average of 200 to 250 junk e-mails every day.

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