From our three hospital campuses to our health centers, urgent care and pediatric practices, Texas Children’s continues to focus its efforts on enhancing patient access. Since implementing solutions for the first two waves of specialties over the last two months, patient families are noticing a positive difference.
For Christina Williams, being able to schedule her 13-year-old son’s clinical appointment 21 days sooner than the originally scheduled appointment has been nothing but a game changer for her.
“I scheduled my son for an appointment in April to see an allergist at Texas Children’s Health Center in Sugar Land,” Williams said. “When I logged on to MyChart, I received an instant notification about an available opening in the Wallace Tower clinic and I quickly accepted it. This process is quick, easy and convenient, and it’s great knowing that I can be notified on MyChart as soon as an opening becomes available.”
First launched on March 19 with two subspecialties – Allergy and Immunology, and Baylor College of Medicine OB/GYN – MyChart’s electronic waitlist feature automatically offers patients and their families on the waitlist earlier appointments once their MyChart account has been activated.
Since the new feature went live for these two subspecialties in mid-March, there have been multiple offers accepted to help families get earlier clinical appointments. Below are the results as of April 30:
- Combined acceptance rate of 8.2 percent for Allergy and Immunology, and Baylor OB/GYN with average day improvement of 56 days
- Acceptance rate of 7.4 percent for Allergy and Immunology with average day improvement of 54 days
- Acceptance rate of 10.7 percent for Baylor OB/GYN with average day improvement of 64 days.
The remaining Wave 1 specialties along with Wave 2 will go live with this new feature on May 21. These subspecialties are Orthopedics, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Neurology, Adolescent/Sports Medicine, Dermatology, Gastroenterology, Pediatric Gynecology, Ophthalmology, Orthodontics, Plastic Surgery, Urology and Cardiology.
MyChart Instant Activation
While the nation was glued to the NCAA’s March Madness college basketball tournament, Texas Children’s remained focused on scoring patient access points during MyChart Madness.
On March 19, clinic staff at Mark Wallace Tower participated in a collaborative, 5-week MyChart Madness competition to increase MyChart activation rates across the hospital system, resulting in more patients and their families taking advantage of the benefits of this online patient portal.
MyChart Instant Activation essentially pushes a text or email notification to patient families that allows them to sign up for a MyChart account via phone instead of having to use a computer to sign up.
“Out of the 32 participating clinics at Wallace Tower, a total of 1,096 same-day activations were generated as a result of MyChart Madness,” said Rachel Norman Brock, manager of Ambulatory Clinics at Texas Children’s. “The Urology team was the winner of the MyChart Madness competition with 118 same-day activations.”
During the first week of instant activation across the Texas Children’s hospital system, there were 3,492 same-day activations, almost half of which resulted from instant activation. To date, Texas Children’s has a total of 6,974 same-day activations thanks to our collaborative team efforts to enhance patient access.
Other strategies to improve patient access
Championed by administrative and physician leaders from medical, surgical, and women’s service lines, the Improved Capacity & Improved Utilization workgroup has been focused on ensuring that providers have appointments in their schedules for our patients when it is most convenient for them to be seen.
By first evaluating appointment templates and aligning provider schedules to a standard four-hour clinic session definition to ensure patients receive the service and availability they need, the organization was able to add over 36,000 new patient appointments annually into the system through Waves 1, 2 and 3 of the project. The team looks forward to additional slots as Wave 4 goes live on June 1.
“To date, the workgroup has partnered with 28 specialties and over 600+ providers to create increased appointment availability, particularly for new patients that are currently facing long waits to be seen in our clinics,” said Grace Karon, project manager for Ambulatory Services at Texas Children’s. “With these new appointment slots, the team is proud to be helping our patients access the care that they need.”