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Case Study

How Glacier Bay Clinic Standardized Schedules to Improve Patient Access

15 Minute Read

Overview

The challenge

Patient access remains a challenge for almost all medical groups. Oftentimes, long wait times stem from inconsistency in provider scheduling templates. This results in unused capacity and limited access for patients.

The organization

Glacier Bay Clinic is a large hospital employed medical group based in the West with clinics in primary and specialty care.

The approach

Glacier Bay standardized schedules across all primary care practices by first analyzing data and collecting provider feedback to reduce template variation. To preserve autonomy, they let all physicians pick their preferred schedule from the group’s options. Finally, to make these gains stick, Glacier Bay tracks and shares personalized performance data.

The result

Since implementation, Glacier Bay has improved access without hiring additional providers. On average, providers are able to see one more patient per day, translating to 55,000 additional primary care visits in one year.

 

Approach

How Glacier Bay Clinic standardized provider schedules in primary care

This case study details how Glacier Bay Clinic, a large hospital employed medical group, standardized schedules across their primary care practices.

 

The three steps

Leaders at Glacier Bay reduced unnecessary variation and transitioned to standardized scheduling in three key steps:

  • Step

    Pair data with physician feedback to reduce variation

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  • Step

    Let physicians pick from schedule options

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  • Step

    Use personalized data to foster accountability

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Results

Standardized scheduling improves efficiency

By taking these three steps to standardize schedules, Glacier Bay addressed latent capacity barriers in provider templates. As a result, Glacier Bay improved efficiency and access without hiring any additional providers. On average, providers were able to see one more patient per day, translating to 55,000 more primary care visits in one year. Even after initial rollout, Glacier Bay continues to see 50,000-60,000 more appointments per year with the same staffing.

55K

Additional primary care visits in one year

28

Number of specialties that successfully transitioned
to standardized scheduling templates

Follow the same steps for specialty care

This publication outlines the steps that Glacier Bay took to standardize schedules in primary care but they also successfully implemented standardized scheduling across 28 specialties using the same approach. While the final templates look different across the various specialties, the overarching steps to reduce template variation and create common scheduling standards are applicable across all.

Topics

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