How an orthopedic clinic for the underserved cut appointment wait times from a year to a few weeks Featured

Written by  Laura Dyrda | Monday, 10 April 2017 11:31
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The wait time at a clinic in Travis County, Texas run by Dell Medical School at UT Austin, was cut significantly after physicians, nurses and research assistants redesigned the clinic to become more efficient, according to a KUT report.

The clinic serves patients with musculoskeletal diseases and until recently the wait list for an appointment extended back one year. However, after the team gathered to re-design the clinic into an integrated practice unit, the wait time is now closer to three weeks.


The clinic, which is open two days per week, sees around 20 to 25 patients per clinic and many patients have long consultations because their cases are complex. The patients often have comorbidities or mental health issues the specialists must tackle in addition to musculoskeletal disorders. The clinicians often provide physical therapy regimens and teach patients to do them at home, or connect them with resources for lowering emotional stress.


The longer visits have helped reduce wait times, according to the report, because patients needed fewer follow-up appointments. Clinicians also track data to ensure good outcomes and communication to lower the number of follow-up appointments each patient needs.


Instead of automatically scheduling follow-up appointments with patients, the clinicians tell them to call back if their therapy or treatment isn't working. The group also connects about each patient and makes sure they're receiving the right care.


More articles on orthopedics:
What Yale New Haven Hospital is doing to improve hip fracture care
Key thoughts on outpatient joint replacement for obese patients
Prevea Health welcomes Dr. Joseph McCormick—4 details

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