The University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine has won this year’s FPM Award for Practice Improvement. The Department of Family Medicine was presented with the award Friday during the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Conference on Practice Improvement being held in Louisville, Ky.
FPM Editorial Advisory Board member John Bachman, MD, presented the award to the department’s vice chair for clinical affairs, Jehni Robinson, MD, as well as team members Melody Porter and Yaracel Montalvo.
The program was recognized for its work to reduce the average length of patient visits, which had grown to 71 minutes. Department leaders said they first identified what problems were increasing wait times, prioritized which had the highest effect on cycle times, and then tested solutions. Some of the solutions included adjusting medical assistant start times and lunch times to ensure adequate staffing, having staff members reach out to patients through the online portal, and enhancing communication between the physicians and staff to anticipate patient care needs and clinic delays.
“One of the things that has been so exciting is that we have created a culture of quality of improvement and engagement,” Robinson said. “Many new projects have grown from this.”
Within nine months, the average cycle time decreased 11.3 percent to 63 minutes. In addition, the shorter cycle times improved satisfaction for both patients and staff.
For more information on the FPM Award for Practice Improvement: http://bit.ly/2BBBHjU.
– Lindsey Hoover, Assistant Managing Editor for Family Practice Management.
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