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Urgent care clinics improve workflow while increasing patient access to care

by Adventist Health

Published on 10/22/2019

Industry data shows many patients are turning to urgent care clinics, making up 18% of all U.S. primary care visits.1 As a result Adventist Health, a Cerner ITWorksSM client based in Roseville, California, opened two new urgent care clinics, Montrose and Glendale, so patients can receive care where they want it. In addition to improved access to care, the clinics now bring in an average of 115 more patients each week to the health system.2

“This collaboration supports the Adventist Health mission to provide the best care possible and improve outcomes for the patients we serve,” said James Burke, MD, medical officer of the Adventist Health Physicians Network in Southern California.

The health system worked with Cerner to launch a pilot program to improve services at urgent care centers while refining the workflow of clinicians. After leveraging Cerner Model Experience, which provides a set of recommendations of best practices, and implementing ED LaunchPoint™, which tracks patients’ journeys during their visit at the clinic, the care team reduced time in the electronic health record (EHR) by 14%.2

A tool to understand the patient’s visit

In July 2018, staff at Adventist Health’s two clinics launched ED LaunchPoint as part of Model Experience’s recommendations. Other Model Experience recommendations launched included defining new roles for providers and clinical staff and changing the workflow for interacting with walk-in patients.

“To improve throughput, we needed to break down each step of the visit to understand the pain points,” Burke said. “ED LaunchPoint offers providers a tool to understand the patient as a whole person, including their history. We can see their status at each point of the visit which is a great help to provide the best treatment options.”

Jennifer Greco, senior ambulatory performance specialist, agrees, saying it helps clinics keep track of patients during their visits.

“It helps with communication of when the patient is ready to be seen or discharged, and offers smoother transitions and flows,” she said.

More time with the patient

The solution also helps providers spend less time in the EHR and more time focused on the patient. On average, providers at the two clinics reduced their time in the EHR by more than 1.5 minutes and saved 4.5 minutes on documentation per patient.2

Besides time saved, providers found the new solution improved workflow in other ways, making it easier to access patient information and place orders.

“I can click on a patient’s information without opening the chart,” said Dmitriy Y. Gen, DO, medical director. “The program allows for a smoother transition and efficiency in processes through increased visibility of the patient’s visit.”

With 12% growth2 in unique patients seen, Adventist Health leaders plan to continue to focus on improvements in their urgent care clinics to enhance the walk-in workflow through Cerner Practice Management, which provides documentation for health records and patient appointment scheduling.

1 Urgent Care Association, “Urgent Care Industry White Paper 2018”

2 Comparing the first 18 weeks of 2018 to the first 18 weeks of 2019.

Client outcomes were achieved in respective settings and are not representative of benefits realized by all clients due to many variables, including solution scope, client capabilities and business and implementation models.