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RMANJ’s Focus on Patient Care Reflected in New Patient Experience Director

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patient experience director rmanjTelma Andrade, Reproductive Medicine Associates of New Jersey’s new Director of Patient Experience, says she started her career as a patient advocate at the tender age of 9.

Andrade credits an episode in her youth for helping her develop a passion for satisfying patient experiences. Born in Portugal, Andrade and her family moved to New Jersey in 1989. As the oldest of three siblings who spoke fluent English, Andrade would accompany her parents – whose English was not so good – to doctor and other appointments and act as a translator. Acting as a middle woman between her parents and those in the professional services industry, she realized patients like her parents weren’t always being treated in the best way, and there was a lot of room for improvement.

“Even at a young age, I realized that people – whether they were customers or patients – were often treated with a lack of empathy, compassion and regard for their time,” Andrade said, “and that really bothered me.”

“When I began working in the hospital setting, I knew this was what I wanted to spend my professional life doing – advocating for patients.”

Prior to RMANJ, Andrade served as the Patient Experience Manager at Hoboken University Medical Center in Hoboken, New Jersey, and as the Emergency Medicine Residency Coordinator at Saint Michaels Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey. In these roles, Andrade implemented service excellence strategies that increased patient satisfaction and boosted staff morale.

In her new role, Andrade will work toward elevating RMANJ’s focus on patients even further, ensuring every part of the patient journey – from digital touchpoints, to phone support, to in-clinic care and beyond – are seamless, timely, effective, compassionate memorable.

“RMANJ’s mission has always been to do the right thing for the patient,” Andrade said, “and I’m looking forward to strengthening that commitment so we can lead the industry in exceptional patient care, from the clinical to the personal.”

Andrade is a firm believer that a positive patient experience can be achieved by understanding a patient’s needs and identifying possible hurdles along the way. At RMANJ, she plans to implement a more robust patient survey system to gain a good understanding of overall patient experience and how it relates to several key areas, including compassionate care, patient centered care, communication, responsiveness, professionalism and accessibility. She’s also working on an innovative new reward and recognition program for staff, as well as education and training programs that enable RMANJ team members – from clinical to finance – to better assist patients during one of the most sensitive periods of their lives.

“Infertility is an extremely personal journey, and we take seriously our responsibility to make patients’ time with us personable, satisfying and successful.”

As she begins to navigate the reproductive endocrinology landscape, Andrade is fully submerging herself in the RMANJ culture, ensuring she understands the business – and its patients – in its entirety.

“Infertility is an important and growing field, and, as the industry evolves, so must our reaction to patient experience,” she said. “I’m excited to chart those waters.”

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