Use of Patient Flow Analysis to Improve Patient Access and Clinical Efficiency in an Ambulatory Women's Clinic [18F]

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Pregnancy and prenatal care follow-ups require frequent care visits. Studies show that excessive wait time can be a source of patient and employee dissatisfaction and are associated with lower patient satisfaction (P<.05).

METHODS:

From March 2013 to February 2015, the VMB was utilized as a Patient flow analysis (PFA) to track patient access in the women's clinic.

RESULTS:

By using VMB, the staff were able to identify inefficiencies in the patient visits, suggest areas in need of improvement, institute changes and test the effectiveness of clinic interventions. Mean wait time in the obstetrical clinic was decreased from 34 minutes to 33 minutes and in the gynecological clinic wait time decreased from 49 minutes to 28 minutes. The delay time before new obstetrical visits could be scheduled decreased from 11 to 7 days after changes were implemented. From January 2014 to August 2014, the volume of initial gynecologic visits increased by 38%, 739 to 1020 appointments), return gynecologic visits increased by 29%, 795 to 1026 appointments, initial obstetrical visits increased by 15%, 152 to 174, repeat obstetrical visits decreased by 2.4%, 1198 to 1169, and using a 10 point Likert-scale revealed that mean patient satisfaction scores increased from 67% to 84%.

CONCLUSION:

Patient flow analysis (PFA) via VMB is a simple, cost-effective method assesses function of ambulatory health care sites to measure patient flow, identify any inefficiency in the administrative and clinical processes and efficiently collect patient and provider flow data.

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