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Appointments 73% Earlier with Patient-Centered Scheduling in Epic

NYC Health + Hospitals reduces wait times and improves continuity of care

New patients at NYC Health + Hospitals–Bellevue are seen 38 days sooner, a 73% decrease in wait times as a result of Contact Center script changes and the use of time-released appointment slots in Epic. In addition, nearly 25% more returning patients are seen by their primary care provider instead of a different provider, improving continuity of care.

When a patient calls for an appointment, schedulers can easily see the patient’s PCP’s schedule in Epic. If an appointment is not available, rather than defaulting to another provider, schedulers ask whether the patient would rather wait a few days to see the PCP for routine visits. Over the course of a year, many patients preferred to wait to see their PCP, which left more openings for patients who needed to be seen sooner.

NYC Health + Hospitals also uses MyChart to empower patients to request appointments, so they have more control over which providers they see and when. Preliminary data shows that this might decrease the number of less-acute patients seeking care in the emergency department.

“The continuity of the relationship between patient and provider and access to care are the backbone of high-quality primary care,” said Dr. Andrew B. Wallach, clinical chief for ambulatory care. “As we improve access and become more efficient as a system, we will make more visits available for patients who really do need to see a provider [immediately].”

Read more from NYC Health + Hospitals.