Part 2 – Providing Acute Access: Does Your Practice Excel or Could it Use Some Improvement

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Last week we shared three of the six TIPs related to improving acute access as part of MedicalGPS’ service improvement programEndeavor for Excellence: Start Where the Patient Starts.   
If you’d like to review TIPs from last week, click here.
1. How Acute Access Questions are Presented to Patients
2. Acute Access : Receptionist Helpful Correlation
3. Managing the Patient’s Perception
This week we’ll cover TIPs, four through six, as listed below.
4. Managing Access
5. Engaging Providers
6. Optimizing the Patient Appointment Schedule

4. Managing Access
In last week’s Thinking Thursday TIPs we talked briefly about offering options to your patients whenever the appointment slot that the patient desires is not available.  A review of those options is worthwhile.
1. Double-book (per provider’s guidelines)
2. Request Work-in appointment
3. Offer an open slot on another provider’s schedule, if appropriate
4. Leverage a relationship with another care facility that is part of your organization and located near your practice
5. Perhaps there is an urgent care facility near your practice that would welcome the opportunity to care of the patient. 
Whenever option #4 or #5 are used, of course making arrangements with the reciprocating facility, before sending the patient to see them, will ensure everything flows smoothly.
We analyzed Acute Access Top Box data across the M3-Patient Experience national database and identified the best-of-the-best, higher-performing practices.  Reaching out to those higher-peforming practices, we consistently heard a recurring theme, “communication and teamwork is the key”.  Specifically, a healthy, mutually-respectful relationship between the providers and support staff made the difference.

5. Engaging Providers

For M3-Patient Experience users, below are three methods for sharing Acute Access data with your providers and staff.  If you are not currently a client of MedicalGPS and do not have access to M3-Patient Experience, use whatever data that you do have to engage your providers to enlist their support.  Sharing patient feedback related to acute access, such as patient survey Top Box scores and verbatim patient comments will go a long way in building a unified team.
Peer-group Benchmark Comparisons, Trending Reports, and Percentile Rankings
1.Login to M3
2.Click “Reporting”
3.Click “Benchmark Comparisons”, or, “Trending Reports” or “Percentiles by Measure”
4.Select Desired Date Range
5.Select Featured Provider
Note: Graphs may be exported and dropped into PowerPoint, Word, Excel, and/or, printed to hard-copy printer


6. Optimizing the Patient Appointment Schedule
I ran across the article below back in 2014 and I have been recommending it ever since.  If you are looking for ways to optimize your practice’s schedule, in collaboration with your providers, you may find this article very useful.  
Medical Economics
Five ways to optimize your patient schedule for efficiency
March 24, 2014   By Keith Borglum, CHBC
The article covers five basics of how to build an effective, open-access appointment schedule.
1. Prioritize complex visits
2. Create organized triage
3. Manage calls
4. Work toward open access
5. Use quick huddle

We hope you’ve enjoyed Part 2 of our blog series: Providing Acute Access: Does Your Practice Excel or Could it Use Some Improvement. Be sure to subscribe to our Email Updates on the right side 👉 of this page, and be sure to check out Part 1 if you missed it or wish to review.

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