Improving quality and patient satisfaction in a pediatric resident continuity clinic through advanced access scheduling

J Grad Med Educ. 2010 Jun;2(2):215-21. doi: 10.4300/JGME-D-09-00087.1.

Abstract

Objective: To evaluate the impact of advanced access scheduling in a pediatric residency clinic on resident and patient satisfaction, medical education, practice quality, and efficiency.

Methods: Residents were assigned to either the advanced access template (10 appointments available to patients and 2 physician overbooks) or the prior template (5 available and 8 overbooks). Outcomes included resident and patient satisfaction, appointment availability, and continuity of care and clinic costs.

Results: Patient satisfaction improved in 7 areas (P < .001). Residents in either template did not report an impact on medical education experiences. Significant increases were realized with appointment availability and the number of patients seen. Continuity also increased as the overflow/acute visits decreased (P < .001). Overall costs per visit decreased 22%. Because of the significant improvements in access, continuity, and efficiency, all residents were switched to the advanced access template after completion of the study.

Conclusions: Improvement in access to the primary physician has a significant impact on patient satisfaction with health care delivery. This model optimizes the limited time that residents have in continuity clinic, and it has implications for health care delivery quality improvement.