Swedish Medical Group, a network of more than 100 primary care and specialty clinics throughout Washington’s greater Puget Sound area, is meeting increased demand while improving the patient experience, using technology designed to reduce wait times and expedite the patient visit.
“We’re expanding our primary care presence in key communities, where we expect patient volumes to test the limits of our capacity,” says Whitney Hull, RN, BSN, Clinic Administrator at Swedish Renton Primary Care. Indeed, population growth in Washington is booming, ranking fifth in the nation for the number of new residents. “We needed a system that would provide us with real-time data to optimize workflow, reduce wait times, and provide the best possible patient experience.”
In May, Hull’s clinic and the nearby Musculoskeletal Services facility replaced their manual “flags and tags” system with the Versus Advantages Clinic patient flow system.
“Now everything is automated,” Hull explains. “We don’t have to flip the flags outside each door, and we don’t have to peer down the hallway to see what’s going on. Electronic whiteboards in our off-stage work area show us everything that’s happening in the clinic.”
Patients, providers and staff wear lightweight locator badges that automatically update the Advantages software, keeping everyone in the know on where patients are, how long they’ve been waiting, who has seen them, and who needs to see them next.
Advantages alerts staff when patients have waited more than 10 minutes, indicates when the patient is ready to see the medical assistant (MA) or provider, and automatically tracks room status, including cuing staff when rooms need to be cleaned.
The third clinic to implement Versus, Swedish Richmond Beach Primary Care, went live on June 6. Sarah Pollard, Clinic Administrator, values the data that Advantages provides. “I truly think this system ultimately helps us deliver on our commitment to patient experience by engaging our care teams in a new way with data that is objective, transparent, consistent and actionable.”
While providing real-time data to assist with workflow in the moment, Advantages Clinic also collects an enormous amount of historical data. Using the Versus Reports PluTec Analytics software, practice administrators now have previously unavailable analysis on wait times, room utilization, time patients spend with MAs and providers, and more. “I’m looking forward to digging into this data and seeing how we can use it to enhance our processes,” Pollard says.
A fourth Swedish clinic, Bellvue Primary Care in Bellevue, Wash., is currently installing the system. Five other facilities affiliated with Swedish also use Versus: three Pacific Medical Centers clinics and two Providence Health & Services clinics, all serving the Pacific Northwest. The clinics are serviced locally by ATS Facility Systems, a certified Versus System Integrator located in Spokane, Wash.
Attendees of the MGMA 2016 Annual Conference, Oct. 30-Nov. 2 in San Francisco, can learn more about the Versus Advantages Clinic patient flow system in session D03, “Eliminate the Waiting Room,” presented by Cheryl Becker of Aurora Medical Group. Versus will also offer live demonstrations of the system at booth #1013.
Midmark Corporation acquired Versus Technology, in May, 2016, creating a unique offering of clinical workflow solutions that encompass clinical workflow services, RTLS technology, medical equipment, diagnostic devices and design assistance for improved efficiency within health systems.