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Mar 29th 2019

Faces of eviCore: Bonnie Randolph

It sounds like common sense that one should always be understanding and receptive in any conversation about how to treat someone's health situation. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes a special effort or conscious decision to maintain that outlook. “Common sense is not that common. In fact it should be a superpower," says Dr. Bonnie Randolph.

Dr. Randolph appreciates having been raised to respect people and to acknowledge proprieties when talking to someone for the first time. She makes a genuine effort to see the whole person—including their fears, pain, and doubts—in trying to sense how any interaction may go. 

Who is Bonnie Randolph?

Dr. Bonnie Randolph was born in Shiraz, Iran, where her father was stationed in the Air Force. Not long after, the family moved to Kingsport, TN, where she grew up. Dr. Randolph attended college at Carson-Newman College (now University), then went to medical school at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, TN.

For 8 years, Dr. Randolph worked in an emergency room before becoming a hospitalist for 5 years and then specializing in Occupational Medicine. As many in the healthcare system know, such positions can be very time-consuming, so Dr. Randolph looked for other opportunities that didn't require being on call at all hours and allowed her to spend more time with her young children. She loved the idea that at eviCore she would still have the opportunity to serve patients but also have time to spend with her family and growing children.

The Importance of Having a Positive Conversation

As Dr. Randolph puts it, humans tend to “hyperfocus on the negative”. Her hope is to provide a more positive experience in patient care so that each person she touches feels valued.

In a peer-to-peer discussion with a provider, she always appreciates getting a clear picture of what is going on with the patient. The greatest value of these calls, says Dr. Randolph, is “… being able to hear and picture what doctors are seeing in their patients rather than only seeing what's written on the chart." This information helps her understand the case better and pinpoint the most relevant eviCore guidelines.

It's important to Dr. Randolph that each person she talks to leaves the conversation feeling important, valued, and heard. And she wants ordering physicians to feel that the same recognition is extended to the patients for whom they are discussing a course of treatment.

Dr. Randolph has experience being on the other side of a peer-to-peer call, so she understands how it can be an inconvenience to take time out of a busy schedule for such calls. But she sees great value in how they often reveal the human part of the treatment process. “That's humbling; I like that part of peer-to-peers."

Being Kind Helps the Experience

One of the “superhero” tools in her belt is to always acknowledge the time and effort put into meeting and treating the patient. Another is to express thanks and be gracious for the time spent discussing a patient's care. Speaking plainly and being compassionate are equally important to her.

In any situation, she says, you can't take someone's frustrations personally. “Maybe they didn't get breakfast or spilled their coffee and they're focused on “why". You have to try and help turn that feeling around for them."

Living by the motto that a little bit of kindness and humility can disarm most potentially combative situations in a conversation, Dr. Randolph is skilled at reading a “room" and is able to make most anyone feel at ease. "The best way is to conduct calls with physicians in a way that feels similar to sitting down with them," she says. "You want it to feel like having a quick cup of coffee together."