University of Alberta Department of Family Medicine delivers better patient experiences and reduces no-show rates
With four academic family medicine centre locations, the University of Alberta Department of Family Medicine provides cutting-edge care for families. In addition to the thousands of patients the Family Medicine team serves, it also provides a rich training ground for Alberta’s next generation of physicians. Ensuring patients attend their appointments should be the least of the team’s concerns.
Making it easy to connect with patients
In June 2017, the University of Alberta team implemented Cliniconex in hopes of reducing clinic no-shows. Cliniconex, an easy add-on solution to a Med Access EMR from TELUS Health, gives clinics an easy and automated way to communicate patient reminders so its medical professionals can focus on providing the care patients need.
Seeing more patients and reducing waitlists
“We often see two or three patients from one family in the same visit,” says Mirella Chiodo, CBAS Director and Quality Supervisor for the Department of Family Medicine. With each appointment taking up to 30 minutes, if a patient family misses an appointment, clinics can experience unnecessary large vacant slots in their schedules. No-show patients take space away from other patients waiting for care and put their own health at risk.
With Cliniconex, patients can choose how they want to be contacted – voice, email or text. If a patient needs to cancel an appointment, they can do so within the appointment reminder itself – which is updated automatically within the EMR. With advanced notice another patient can fill this time slot, ensuring clinics are operating at maximum capacity and delivering timely care to its patient base.
“Cliniconex lets us manage time more efficiently and serve more patients with less wait time.”-Mirella Chiodo, CBAS Director and Quality Supervisor, Department of Family Medicine
Cliniconex helps deliver a 60% reduction in no-shows
The results of the implementation for its four family clinics helped drive adoption. “At first it was hard to get staff on board. But once we started seeing results, our team quickly embraced the technology. The system saves our staff a lot of time reaching out to patients and gives us really meaningful results,” says Chiodo.
At its Misericordia Family Medicine Centre, the no-show rate dropped by almost 50% from 7.31% to 3.46% in the first month following Cliniconex implementation. Similarly, at the University of Alberta’s Northeast Community Health Centre, by January 2018, only 31 patients failed to show (3.06%), compared to 86 missed patient appointments (8.14%) in May 2017. This represents a 62% improvement six months post-implementation.
It’s not just the clinic staff and physicians that appreciate the convenience of Cliniconex. Patients are on side as well. “Patients have reported that they appreciate the convenience of getting a reminder on their phone and responding at their convenience,” says Mirella. “Patients also appreciate moving up on the waitlist when other patients cancel.”
Using Cliniconex and Med Access, the University of Alberta spends more time improving healthcare outcomes and less time waiting for patients to show for appointments.