IHA case studies

Improving Physician Clinic Access through Lean Six Sigma


Limited provider appointment availability in the clinic was causing delays for patients seeking care, decreased patient satisfaction, increased wait time and lost revenue associated with patients who were unable to adequately schedule appointments. A 10 month review of inbound telephone data revealed 8,776 abandoned phone calls, representing potential appointments and lost revenue estimated in excess of $78,000.

To increase the clinic’s capacity, four improvements were identified and implemented: providers added one working day of appointments that could not be reserved in advance; call center processes were optimized to allow more efficient scheduling and process flow for inbound calls; physician appointments were decreased to 15 minutes, allowing for additional appointment availability during clinic hours; and procedures for physicians were streamlined to optimize workflow and allow for more efficient use of time. These changes increased patient access to care and patient satisfaction, while also increasing revenue.

This case study is part of the Illinois Health and Hospital Association's annual Quality Excellence Achievement Awards. Each year, IHA recognizes and celebrates the achievements of Illinois hospitals and health systems in continually improving and transforming health care in the state. These organizations are improving health by striving to achieve the Triple Aim—improving the patient experience of care (including quality and satisfaction), improving the health of populations, and reducing the per capita cost of health care—and the Institute of Medicine’s six aims for improvement—safe, effective, patient centered, timely, efficient, and equitable. To learn more, visit https://www.ihaqualityawards.org/javascript-ui/IHAQualityAward/

Additional Resources

Webinars December 13th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 2: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 20th, 2017

Equity of Care Webinar SeriesPart 1: Aligning Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, Busi......

Webinars November 17th, 2017

Transportation and the Role of Hospitals This AHA webinar on “Transportation and the Role of Hos......