A decentralized imaging scheduling model frustrated physicians and patients, stunting volume growth
In 2013, each of Southern Illinois Healthcare’s three facilities had unique imaging leadership teams, priorities, and operations. This created particular challenges for imaging scheduling, which required physician offices and patients to treat each SIH facility as separate units to find or reschedule appointments.
The decentralized scheduling model led to high variability in call wait times and service standards. At times patients would wait weeks for appointments while immediate access was available at another SIH site. Without a cohesive access point, SIH lost imaging patients—and then downstream care—to competitors even in different markets despite higher out-of-pocket costs and longer commute times.
A newly hired System Imaging Director utilized Advisory Board research to develop a resolution: centralize scheduling. The leader assembled a new scheduling team, set clear performance expectations, and launched system-wide scheduling operations.
In the five years following implementation, SIH maximized capacity utilization of existing equipment. SIH invested in new advanced imaging services, allowing the organization to provide high quality, local care for more patients. Their focus on convenient access has allowed SIH to grow market share and improve satisfaction of patients, physicians, and staff.