beth israel deaconess medical center a harvard medical school teaching hospital

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Outpatient Clinic Access

Time to Appointment for Evaluation

What are we measuring?

The percent of new patients referred for spine evaluations and care that are seen in two weeks or less by one of our physicians.

Why is this important?

Patients referred to a BIDMC specialist by a primary care doctor should have quick and easy access to care for their spine-related problem.

What does our performance tells us?

The chart below shows how BIDMC's performance compares to our goal. Look for big differences in the scores in order to be sure that the difference is meaningful. Small differences may not reflect true differences in performance (i.e., they may not be statistically significant).

Source of data: BIDMC Administrative/Patient Level Database, and is based upon the appointment schedule date.

42% of new patients referred for spine evaluations are seen in two weeks or less compared to our overall ambulatory goal of 65%. Why is our goal 65% and not 100%? Many of our patients prefer to schedule appointments several days in advance so they can arrange for transportation. We work with the patient's schedule to get them in at a convenient time with the goal to get most patients in to be seen within two weeks of their call. Appointments are available sooner for urgent needs.

What are we doing to improve our performance?

To see patients more quickly, we are expanding the number of physicians practicing at the center, including at our location at our Beth Israel Deaconess HealthCare in Lexington. This past quarter, we have added additional clinic sessions for neurosurgery and orthopaedic evaluations, and two additional sessions for physiatrist evaluations to improve our ability for patients.

Patients desire to see the most appropriate spine specialist on their first visit to our clinic. Rather than focus on just the "first available appointment" we ask patients and referring physicians a series of questions (a "triage protocol") designed to match patient's needs and concerns with our team of specialists. Additionally, we have redesigned our triage protocol to ensure that we have access to patients' radiology images prior to their first appointment, so that patients are referred to the most appropriate clinician.

Last Updated:  February 25, 2012

Contact Information

Silverman Institute for Health Care Quality and Safety
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
330 Brookline Ave
Boston, MA 02215