What is the Practice Management: Patient Access Accelerator?

The Practice Management: Patient Access application helps users review, analyze, and improve patient access at a medical practice by visualizing patient appointment and physician availability data. Users are able to analyze appointment volumes by location, specialty, and provider; monitor monthly and annual volumes relative to budget or goal; perform root-cause analysis on unusual variation; and measure patient access by third-next available appointment. The result? The organization can take timely, strategic actions to optimize efficiency and resolve barriers to access—and can monitor the efficacy of their efforts over time.

Organizations typically choose the Patient Access accelerator for these reasons:

  • Barriers to care negatively affect the patient’s health and compliance to care. To meet the goal of “right care, right place, right time,” patients need timely appointments. Without this access, patients may seek care elsewhere—through urgent care or the ED—which increases costs and breaks the continuity of care.
  • Practice management tools don’t give the whole picture. Though many tools can make day-to-day operations easier with features such as automated appointment reminders and warnings for resource-scheduling conflicts, they don’t provide actionable insights to improve the overall health of operations. In addition, these tools don’t help service-line directors and practice managers know if the practice is meeting the goal of providing patients with access to care.

Practice Management: Patient Access Benefits and Features

Assemble a meaningful, timely picture of patient access.

The application merges data from several systems to create a single, comprehensive, and easy-to-consume source of truth for evaluating and improving scheduling, patient throughput, provider workloads, and other factors that affect practice access and performance. The data is automatically updated upon availability, making short-term day-to-day metric management possible.

Identify and understand trends and variation.

Interacting with the data, users can see and explore various dimensions of access, including monthly and yearly trends for completed appointments; no-shows or the numbers of patients who leave the facility without being seen (LWBS); cancellations and a break-down of the reasons for all cancellations; and physician availability by location, unit, and specialty. Drill-down capabilities within various tabs provide immediate insight and provide the opportunity for exploration and analysis with deeper detail.

Know when to reach out.

Organizations with large data sets may implement this accelerator with predictive modeling, which can identify patients who are likely “no-shows”—and allows you to intervene proactively to help ensure they come in for care.

Practice Management: Patient Access Use Case

A director uses Practice Management: Patient Access to review operations within a service line. She sees that cancellations, no-shows, and LWBS (patients leaving without being seen) are trending up. Working with an analyst and a practice manager, she then uses the accelerator to look for patterns in the data (e.g., by appointment type, provider, clinic, patient demographics, and time) that will help them design targeted interventions. They also analyze utilization and third-next-available appointments to identify gaps in scheduling and adjust scheduling practices based on patient population served by the clinic.