Melissa Taylor, 36
Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals
Manager, Patient Access Development and Support (8 direct reports), Warrensville Heights, OH
B.A., Kent State University; M.B.A., Tiffin University
Either a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader or an attorney. Training ended up being the ultimate culmination of the two aspirations. I get to be a cheerleader for training initiatives and get others excited about them, while being a trainer requires me to persuade and influence others.
Attitude over aptitude. I often find myself saying this when I talk about hiring decisions. I don't believe you can train commitment, compassion, kindness and sincerity. These attributes are critical for anyone who is going to interact with patients and their families.
Husband Matt and son Wyatt (20 months).
Spending time with my family, reading (I love Steinbeck and Dickens), traveling, and being outdoors.
Train in a field you love.
Melissa Taylor's advice to other training professionals is to "train in a field you love," and she follows that advice every day as manager of patient access development and support at Cleveland Clinic Regional Hospitals, where she manages training for five facilities and 175 employees.
Not only does Taylor have a "special heart" for customer service, according to East Market Regional Director of Patient Access Joyce Klingshirn, she also makes patient, physician, and staff satisfaction central to everything she does. "Every training initiative produced by her group puts 'patients first,' while bringing an element of fun to learning and to leading her staff," says Klingshirn.
An "outstanding collaborative leader" and an "inspiration to the entire organization," Taylor's 2007 accomplishments alone, says Klingshirn, demonstrate her "innovation, service, teamwork, energy, and creativity." Among other projects completed last year, Taylor served as a facilitator and project management coach for seven Orion Advisory FasTrac teams that developed a new process for follow-up activity on denied claims. Rollout of the initiative—which involved eight hospitals and the deployment of new software—was completed four weeks ahead of schedule, and the organization expects to see a 40 percent denial reduction, which will result in decreased days in receivables and increased revenue.
Taylor also rolled out a new "Quality Monitoring Program" at four hospitals —a project that involved software implementation; reorganization of direct reports to manage quality-assurance activities; and identification and deployment of training programs to address performance deficiencies. Today, 200-plus hospital employees receive daily performance scorecards, and their "grades" have improved by more than 15 percent year-to-date.
Recently nominated to participate in the organization's Group of Aspiring Leaders (GOAL) program, Taylor has one of the highest employee satisfaction rankings in the region, according to Klingshirn.