Idea: Implement urgent care telephone visits to expand access to primary care.
Target: Patients calling the Nurse Advice Line speak with a trained registered nurse about health concerns and then are referred to the Timely Access to Patient Services program, as appropriate.
Project Highlights: Timely Access to Patient Services (TAPS) is an innovative approach to improve appointment access by providing patients with an alternative method of communication with a provider: the telephone visit. From January 2014 – May 2015, the team has seen over 600 patients, with 82% of patients able to resolve their concerns over the phone. With the onset of TAPS, the innovation has contributed to a decrease of about 500 calls in the Nurse Advice Line referrals to Urgent Care and Primary Care.
Evidence of Cultural Change from the Innovation Process:
• There has been an organizational shift in the process behind understanding a problem by incorporating end user experience data gathering into this process.
• All 14 clinics are now using affinity diagrams to analyze patient comments from the monthly CG-CAPHS survey. The affinity diagram tool was introduced by the team’s innovation coach.
• Efforts from the health centers are being directed towards establishing a patient advisory board to allow participation in future planning and evaluation processes.
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