ROC the FUTURE INNOVATORS: Primary Care/Specialty Medicine

ROC the Future celebrates our employees’ best innovative ideas in action. Each ROC the Future project winner yielded important, measurable results for our health system, through innovation, cost savings, better patient outcomes or process quality improvement. This week, RRH is proud to honor the winning team at Primary Care/Specialty Medicine.

Left to right standing: Mary Parlet, Marilynn Varrenti, Deborah DeSantis, Dr. Thomas Roberts, Beth Gallagher, Erica Sergent, Maria Larner, Dr. Joe Finetti, Ann Fratto, Mary Sargent, Jerome Scott, Wendy Grasta, Sheri Nordberg… Group sitting in chairs left to right: Dr. Bridgette Wiefling, Amanda Monaco, Joseph Gaudio… Participants not photographed: Sherry Pritchard, Katie Taddonio, Dr. Anh Bui, Jenn Mordaci, LynnTurney, Jackie Duncan

Two practices, Northridge and Parkway, worked together to optimize their work processes and achieved improvements in patient access, financial results, and better turnaround time for patient inbasket tasks. The team won a ROC the Future award for their results.

The Practice Transformation team overcame three key challenges:

  1. Workflows that varied depending on whether a provider was new to CareConnect or had been on the system for years
  2. Staffing challenges that impacted operational efficiency and adherence to process steps
  3. Delays in message turnaround time due to staffing or lack of focus on inbasket tasks

The team worked collaboratively to optimize processes, ensuring that individual roles and responsibilities were defined and everyone was working to the top of their license. They collaborated with their educational resources to review and optimize key workflows, including inbasket message management and patient rooming. They developed the Practice Transformation Toolbox, which included:

  • A kickoff presentation
  • An exercise exploring roles/responsibilities
  • Practice profiles, used to document provider and team schedules (to provide the ability for teams to float and assist at other practices that may have a staffing challenge)
  • Documented standard workflows
  • Action registry

The initiative increased the level of teamwork within and between the practices, and established best practices to improve patient care, efficiency, access and financial performance. A focus on provider and staff satisfaction fostered a culture of sharing and support. Through cross training, staff members were better equipped to deliver patient-centered care, taking the focus away from a specific facility or role, and focusing instead on overall patient wellness.

The gains for both practices were twofold: Not only could they see more patients, the staff decreased patient response times. In Q1 2018 alone, the Parkway office saw 113 more patients, and Northridge, 121 more patients, than the same time period in 2017. Patient response times to inbasket messages dropped significantly as well.