Samantha Wild: Making the Difference in Patient Care
Samantha Wild’s goal is to stay one step ahead in providing exceptional patient care always. As business officer manager for the Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery and its three UT Physicians clinics, she is responsible for managing the flow of each patient’s experience, from appointment scheduling to office visits to ensuring that the plan of care is implemented efficiently after patients leave. Her official responsibilities include management of the front desk and surgery scheduling at the department’s three clinics, located on the campuses of Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, Memorial Hermann Southeast Hospital and Memorial Hermann The Woodlands Hospital.
“We want to make the patient experience as seamless as possible to minimize stress at a difficult time,” Wild says. “Our ratio of office staff to physicians is very good, and we keep our processes as clean and smooth as possible. Our staff is dedicated to providing the very best customer service. Patients may be here to see a physician, but we consider them our patients.”
Wild reviews patient satisfaction scores every week with staff members, who set goals and try to beat them. “Customer service is much more than greeting patients,” she says. “It’s an opportunity to make a connection and get to know who they are. If our patients are happy, our experience at work is so much better.”
Wild joined the department in October 2015 from Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, where she coordinated the insurance department and managed the work of 25 employees. She discovered her passion for helping people in her first job as a professional athletic trainer. “I ran a boot camp from 2004 to 2009 – about 25 women met me in a park to work out at 5 a.m.,” she says. “Watching people transform themselves was a great learning experience. I also realized that I wanted to work in health care and started taking nursing courses. But I discovered that it wasn’t how I wanted to serve.”
She received her associate degree in social science at Houston’s San Jacinto College, and got her start in health care in 2007 as a patient representative at Baylor College of Medicine. When the Baylor Department of Pediatrics moved to Texas Children’s Hospital, she transferred to the hospital’s clinic in Friendswood, working the front desk in a busy practice. “When you work in pediatrics, you become a different person,” she says. “The things I saw made me very compassionate. I held babies while mothers filled out medical forms. I became aware that it was those little things that patients remember. I was happy because I knew I was making a difference.”
After working as insurance coordinator at Memorial Hermann-TMC, she got the opportunity she was looking for: managing the business office of a clinic. “I interviewed for the position at the Department of Otorhinolaryngology and fell in love with the practice,” she says. “I feel very honored that I was chosen for this job. Customer service is a huge passion of mine, and I love hearing that a patient has had a good visit. It’s humbling to have come from where I started to where I am now. Many people have helped me along the way. If I hadn’t had those opportunities, I wouldn’t be where I am. I still have so much to learn, and I want to pass that on to my staff by helping them grow and develop professionally. We spend a lot of our life working. I hope my employees enjoy coming to work and that we all have a positive effect on the lives we touch.”