Understanding Walk-in Clinic Operations


Health care consultingHow to save more healthcare dollars through operational improvements

There are many sources of variability in walk-in clinics that quality operational analysis and consulting can help reduce in order to save more health care dollars.  Sources of variability will include:

  • Walk-in Clinic Demand (arrival of patients)
  • variability on total physician hours in walk-in clinic
  • Types of ailments varied from colds, nausea, respiratory illness, acute appendicitis and chest pains.
  • Nurse diagnosis time
  • Physician diagnosis time

A pre-triage process flow could be described as a first come first serve bases.  This often leads to long waiting lines from sign-in to treatment and the urgency of the condition is not prioritized.  

Example of Pre-triage Walk-in Clinic Process

  1. Collect information (3 min)
  2. Patient waits (X mins)
  3. Receptionist requests medical records from the Med. Record Department (9 min)
  4. Clerk Verified accurate patient information (5 min)
  5. Records placed in pile (7.5- 20 mins)
  6. Patient seen by nurse when record reaches top of pile
  7. If minor Nurse provided treatment (max 10 diagnosis min), otherwise patient returned to waiting room and waited for a physician

Operations Consulting Group can take this process and reduce the waiting time for patients significantly by taking into account variability and limitations of your assets.  In the Example above the wait time for patients was reduced from 10-20 mins to under 7 mins on average.

Not only can wait times be reduced but profits as well.  Combining these to objectives is often synergistic. Supply Chain Consultants can help with improving such a process and we advise having available data for analysis before contacting us.