Keremeos family physicians recently tackled some workflow inefficiencies affecting practice operations and patient care, with amazing results.

They made efficient, practical changes through the coaching and guidance of the Practice Support Program Advanced Access/Office Efficiency series, supported by the SOS Division of Family Practice and a local MOA peer mentor.

"We offered protected time to work out details that would lighten workloads, and make sure office staff and physicians were working within the scope of their roles," explains Wendy Boyer, PSP Coordinator for the South Okanagan Similkameen.

"Working with Wendy and Rob was an absolute pleasure," says Dr Johan Boshoff. "We have benefited from their facilitation experience in identifying the varied issues at our clinic. This has greatly improved our clinic efficiency, workplace atmosphere and overall enjoyment in our employment."

At the beginning, South Similkameen Health Centre physicians and multidisciplinary team members attended an evening learning session, which included confidential team discussions, process mapping, and problem and solution identification.

"The physicians and team were so dedicated to making improvements," says Boyer. "All attended the planning meeting, and expressed 100 percent buy-in for change."

This led to an office work plan that prioritized improvements ranging from scheduling/work flow, attaching patients, EMR panel updates, EMR user-training, communications, and setting aside dedicated time for rapid access patients. "Being able to see patients expeditiously with Advanced Access built into every day has helped to be of service, and improve patient satisfaction without compromising being relatively on-time," says Dr Mark Baillie.

"The whole journey was very practical and it was enlightening to get input from other offices," says Dr Marina Louw.

Improvements to clinic workflow also made it easier to cope when locums and an LPN were added to clinic operations. The Keremeos team encourages other clinics thinking about improvements to contact the SOS Division of Family Practice or Wendy Boyer.

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