City Centre Health Care Improves Appointment Wait Times by 75%
The Erie St. Clair LHIN often talks about the importance of “improving access to care” and “reducing wait times”; these are two very important measures that we are constantly using to determine the value of investments, programs, and changes to health care. Sometimes changes are obvious, such as adding new beds or launching a new program. But there are other times that while a change may seem small, it can make a big impact.
This is why we are pleased to highlight an amazing accomplishment from the City Centre Health Care (a community health centre operated by CMHA-WECB). Thanks to their hard-working and dedicated staff, patients are now able to access the care they need sooner.
In May of 2014, staff at City Centre Health Care launched an initiative to find ways to reduce the time it takes to book follow-up appointments by 20%. One year later, the initiative has successfully reduced appointment wait times by 75%; far exceeding expectations.
Patient wait times to receive their next appointment have been reduced from 28 days to only 7 days, and patients with frequent re-visit rates are offered immediate appointments.
They addressed the problem in a variety of ways including:
- Standardizing appointment times
This increased clarity for reception regarding who gets a 15 minute or a 30 minute appointment.
- Using the telephone to communicate follow-up information
This means fewer face-to-face appointments, easier access for patients, and shorter wait times.
- Extending the revisit rate frequency
This reduced demand by allowing for flexible scheduling rather than requiring patients to return every two weeks.
- Scheduling follow-up appointments to slower days of the week
This improved scheduling flow and ensured time allocation was better utilized.
Not only are people accessing care faster, but the changes have resulted in a much more positive environment at City Centre Health Care. Gone are the complaints that the “wait time is too long” and in its place are patients who are providing friendly and positive feedback to the receptionists.
“People are choosing to make an appointment rather than go to a walk-in clinic.” says Laura Liebrock, Chief Quality Improvement and Privacy Officer at CMHA-WECB. “This is really important for patients because it helps to ensure that they are receiving both consistent care and the right care. Overall, it’s better for their health.”
For more information on City Centre Health Care, please contact 519-971-0116.
Front Row: Laura Levesque (NP), Angela Trepanier (NP) and Toni Barba (RPN)
Back Row: Dr. Mohammed Hussain (FP), Jennie Boyd (Manager), Lisa Crowder (medical secretary), Beverly Paquette (medical secretary) and Femi Itayemi (NP)