School of Medicine and Health Sciences Poster Presentations

Title

Quality Improvement: How Bridge to Care Achieved a 115% Increase in Patient Volume

Poster Number

326

Document Type

Poster

Status

Medical Student

Abstract Category

Quality Improvement

Keywords

Public Health, Quality Improvement, Student Run Free Clinics, GW Healing Clinic, SMHS

Publication Date

Spring 2018

Abstract

The Bridge to Care Clinic was started in March 2015 by the George Washington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, the GW Healing Clinic, in partnership with the Prince George’s County Health Department. The clinic was originally modelled after GW Healing Clinic’s previous partnership with Bread for the City, a FQHC in nearby Shaw, where we ran a smaller operation in coordination with their staff. Unlike at Bread for the City however, at Bridge to Care our operations from patient scheduling, patient check-in, phlebotomy, lab processing, prescription placement, follow-up care, triage, referrals, social services are entirely student run. With increased responsibilities we found over the course of our first year open that patient visit lengths were too long, lab errors occurred frequently, our follow-up with patients was documented inconsistently and our student leadership were overworked. Simultaneously during 2016 we noticed an overall rise in patient volume from 8-9 patients/night to over 13-15 patients/night, and an increase in referrals from the Health Department. So with the joint goal of improving patient care and improving capacity to be able to expand we embarked on a project to quantitatively and qualitatively assess the quality of care at Bridge to Care by: (1) assessing patient satisfaction and the quality of patient care received at Bridge to Care using an anonymous patient survey, (2) assessing clinic workflow by process mapping and looking at clinical operations more critically, and (3) creating tools to improve clinic workflow and adjust clinic protocol accordingly. Literature review and patient testing were utilized to optimize a patient survey for our diverse patient population. Process maps were utilized to outline the workflow for clinic lab and prescription processing. A combination of literature review and quality improvement methods were used to devise new tools, actions and objectives for the clinic. Improvements from the summer included a medication education tracking sheet, a new clinic space, assigned managerial roles and a new leadership plan. As a result, the Bridge to Care clinic expanded from one night to two nights per week, experienced a 115% increase in patient volume, and a 90% increase in blood draws. With our new expanded leadership, workflow, and capacity Bridge to Care is looking forward to continuing quality improvement and furthering expansion of our services to continue to better reach the needs of our community. Our current objectives include introducing specialty nights, incorporating undergraduate volunteers and furthering sustainability for our role in the community.

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Quality Improvement: How Bridge to Care Achieved a 115% Increase in Patient Volume

The Bridge to Care Clinic was started in March 2015 by the George Washington School of Medicine & Health Sciences, the GW Healing Clinic, in partnership with the Prince George’s County Health Department. The clinic was originally modelled after GW Healing Clinic’s previous partnership with Bread for the City, a FQHC in nearby Shaw, where we ran a smaller operation in coordination with their staff. Unlike at Bread for the City however, at Bridge to Care our operations from patient scheduling, patient check-in, phlebotomy, lab processing, prescription placement, follow-up care, triage, referrals, social services are entirely student run. With increased responsibilities we found over the course of our first year open that patient visit lengths were too long, lab errors occurred frequently, our follow-up with patients was documented inconsistently and our student leadership were overworked. Simultaneously during 2016 we noticed an overall rise in patient volume from 8-9 patients/night to over 13-15 patients/night, and an increase in referrals from the Health Department. So with the joint goal of improving patient care and improving capacity to be able to expand we embarked on a project to quantitatively and qualitatively assess the quality of care at Bridge to Care by: (1) assessing patient satisfaction and the quality of patient care received at Bridge to Care using an anonymous patient survey, (2) assessing clinic workflow by process mapping and looking at clinical operations more critically, and (3) creating tools to improve clinic workflow and adjust clinic protocol accordingly. Literature review and patient testing were utilized to optimize a patient survey for our diverse patient population. Process maps were utilized to outline the workflow for clinic lab and prescription processing. A combination of literature review and quality improvement methods were used to devise new tools, actions and objectives for the clinic. Improvements from the summer included a medication education tracking sheet, a new clinic space, assigned managerial roles and a new leadership plan. As a result, the Bridge to Care clinic expanded from one night to two nights per week, experienced a 115% increase in patient volume, and a 90% increase in blood draws. With our new expanded leadership, workflow, and capacity Bridge to Care is looking forward to continuing quality improvement and furthering expansion of our services to continue to better reach the needs of our community. Our current objectives include introducing specialty nights, incorporating undergraduate volunteers and furthering sustainability for our role in the community.