Caregiver Feature
First Impressions & Lasting Connections

Frontline Ambassadors

As frontline ambassadors, these professionals orchestrate schedules, insurance, billing, gathering demographic information and more to make sure the symphony of medical practice and procedure is carried out efficiently and effectively. Even more so, the Patient Access Specialists are the first people patients talk to when scheduling or checking in to their appointment.

“My role with Monument Health is making a difference every day,” said Darienne Jahner, a Patient Access Specialist for Urology at Rapid City Clinic. “I want patients to receive the care they deserve from the moment they walk in the door.”

Darienne Jahner grew up in Rapid City and admires the community that has evolved and advanced over the years. If she isn’t hanging out with her close-knit family, she is often at events throughout the area – especially events like the Turkey Trot and February Freeze 5K. Within Monument Health, she is known for her lasting relationships with patients, physicians and caregivers.

Throughout her career, Darienne has held a variety of positions in customer relations – from coffee shops to restaurants. The common thread among them all is the connection and care for others. When her friend brought forward the opportunity to join the Monument Health team, it seemed like a perfect fit. Now, two years later,

Darienne is making a difference in her department, as well as patients’ lives through every interaction she has.

“I make a point to try and be on a first name basis with each of our patients. It seems small, but when you’re able to talk with someone and remember their names, I feel like it helps calm them for what may be a stressful appointment,” said Darienne.

No matter what kind of day Patient Access Specialists are having, they put their responsibilities first to make sure everything for the day of appointments will run as smoothly as possible. Darienne and her team make sure the waiting rooms are tidy, prepare medical staff for the day ahead and ensure time frames are filled and on schedule throughout every visit. Outside of internal communication, the Patient Access team will have a variety of duties that change from one day to the next. These tasks can include making calls to patients as a reminder of appointments, rescheduling as needed, following up on concluded appointments patients have had and more.

“I think one of the most unique things about my role as a Patient Access Specialist that someone outside of the medical field may not realize is the amount of background work that takes place to make sure appointments are getting made and time frames are filled appropriately. It’s always changing, and it’s an important job to navigate that,” said Darienne.

With change comes challenge, and that is something Darienne is always up for. With a passion for personal and professional growth, Darienne has been taking the steps to build on her education in the health care access field. Through opportunities presented by Monument Health, Darienne accepted the chance to prepare for a nationwide exam to become a Certified Healthcare Access Associate.

“Monument Health has a great training program that can go as far as you want to take it. They give you support to advance in this profession, and knowing that I will be able to one day reach more leadership roles and administration tasks is encouraging,” said Darienne.

The team of Patient Access Specialists are a close group that works together to make patients feel at ease while also showing them they are receiving the best possible care. The team is supportive, always ready to help and step in for each other – encouraging growth and becoming the best version of one’s self. From group training and team updates to potlucks and get-togethers outside of work, the Patient Access team is a community within the frontline itself.

It can be uneasy for patients to visit the doctors. There are countless directions of diagnoses and treatment plans, and the anxiety that may come with that can be disrupting. Thankfully, being greeted by and working with caring professionals like Darienne at the very beginning of your care can make all the difference.

Story By Jenna Carda
Photos by Bob Slocum