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The People Behind Remote Area Medical: Robbbyrda Preston and Charlotte Graham, Patient Access

240 UVA employees, nursing and medical students are volunteering at the Remote Area Medical clinic in Wise, Va., this week. We’re talking to some of them and sharing their stories. Robbbyrda Preston and Charlotte Graham work in patient access at UVA.

What did you do today?

Robbbyrda: At RAM, we register patients into the hospital system. By doing that, we establish an account number and a medical record number that’ll link to the patient’s clinical data. It goes into our electronic medical record system for lab results, or radiology or other tests.

What are the advantages to that?

Charlotte: We can use that medical record number here even at RAM to see what’s going on with patients. If a UVA doctor sees them, then that information is in our clinical system. So the doctor could say, “OK, today his lab work looks like this. Is that normal or abnormal for this patient?”

Robbbyrda: And right now, we’re registering a patient to try to get him seen before the clinic closes for the day.

Did things go smoothly?

Robbbyrda: We did have some problems. The internet provider went down, so for about five hours, we had to register without computers and put everything on paper. That means later we’ll have to go back and put it all in the system using a much longer process.

Charlotte: But it’s back up. We’ve got about 75 or 80 percent of the patients back into the system.  We finished off the afternoon registering into the system, and we can use it tomorrow morning and finish entering today’s patients.

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