Purpose (what): The goal of this project was to empower nursing and other clinic staff to come up with a solution to reduce overall patient wait time and improve clinic patient satisfaction.
Relevance/significance (why): In fiscal year 2018, the clinic ranked in the 20th percentile for wait time according to Press Ganey results. This metric combined with real-time patient feedback in clinic suggested wait time needed to be an area for focused improvement.
Strategy/implementation/methods (how): In an effort to decrease patient waiting time and improve patient satisfaction, a multidisciplinary team of nurses, dental assistants, surgeons, and administrators came together to identify barriers and form solutions. The team identified clinic templates as the root cause of the problem. The nurses vocalized that the template was built not taking patient diagnosis and complexity into consideration. The team designed a new template to strategically space out clinic appointments based on appointment type and diagnosis.
Evaluation/outcomes/results (so what): Total patient wait time was decreased an average of 20 minutes over the course of 6 months. The template redesign created clinic flow efficiencies, yielding shorter wait times for patients. Press Ganey feedback also demonstrated improvement as the percentile ranking went from the 20th percentile to 65th percentile. This increase suggested the template redesign positively impacted patient satisfaction by decreasing wait time at the clinic.
Conclusions/implications (and now): This project is an example of the power of shared governance. By including each member of the team, we received valuable insight that led to not only improved delivery of patient care, but also a more engaged team as a whole.