It’s easy to see the difference the field staff at Crossroads Hospice makes on patients and their families. Nurses work to alleviate pain, social workers and chaplains have face-to-face conversations to provide support, and physicians consult closely to develop care plans. What may go unnoticed, at times, is the work being done every day by the people behind these frontline team members. The people who work just as hard, with just as much commitment to serving patients. People like Eraina Buie.
A Support to Staff
Buie is a medical records clerk at Crossroads in Kansas City, where she’s responsible for keeping tabs on a team of patients — from admissions to discharges — managing the flow of documents to and from doctors’ offices. To the staff that relies on her support every day, she is a valued member of the team.
“I strive to be an asset to Crossroads Hospice and that is why I believe I’m being recognized with this Staff Spotlight,” Buie says. “When an employee comes in and needs something from medical records, I stop whatever it is I am doing because they are my customers.”
A typical day for Buie starts at 8:00 in the morning, when she checks over patient paperwork before handing it over to the staff team leads. She processes medical information that comes in over the phone or fax and forwards it to the physicians and nurses who need it. Buie handles the necessary logistics for patients coming in or leaving hospice and audits their care charts. She even plays back-up when the receptionists need support and has filled in for the site’s medical records coordinator.
“It’s a lot of fun because I’m someone who likes a challenge. When handling medical records at such a big site, you’re never going to be truly caught up but I like the challenge of multi-tasking everything.”
The Chance to Give Back
In high school, Buie found a part-time job working with medical records at a local hospital. “I went into it just needing some work, but I started to enjoy it quite a bit. I decided I could hang with this for a little while,” she says.
In 2009, she came across a medical records position at Crossroads. Her grandmother had recently been on hospice care and the opportunity to contribute to the field intrigued her. “I thought to myself this was the perfect opportunity for me to give back for the wonderful care that hospice gives to dying patients.”
There for Patients, Behind the Scenes
Although she rarely has the chance to work with patients up close, Buie knows she has the opportunity to make a difference in their lives. When given the chance, she is a perfect ambassador for Crossroads.
“I’ve had patients and loved ones call in pretty desperate need,” she says. “A lot of the time they call crying, just wanting to talk to someone. I listen to their whole story, I just let them talk. I don’t care how long it takes. I listen to them because we do more. Then I pass them on to the proper person to get them more help.”
Buie loves hearing patients’ stories and being there to support them and feels that she’s had the opportunity make strong connections with them over the years.
“The hardest part of my job is when we’ve had a patient on service for quite some time and they pass,” she said. “Even though we don’t see them on a daily basis like the field staff, I feel as though I’m a part of them because I see all their documents. You picture them in your mind and feel connected with them.”
Buie is described by colleagues as “helpful, courteous, diligent, conscientious, and light-hearted.” Her love of bubble-wrap (she’s been known to spread it out through the office and blow off steam by popping it under her feet) and outgoing personality are well known throughout the Kansas City office. To patients and their families, she is the helpful voice and open ear on the other end of the telephone line. She may be working behind the scenes, but her impact is front and center.
Honoring Our Medical Records Clerks
We’re proud to honor Eraina Buie as our Crossroads Hospice “Staff Spotlight” recipient of the month, and recognize our other Medical Records Clerks who work to provide care for our patients each day.
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