Background/introduction Patient feedback consistently informed us that they disliked waiting to be seen. Our Sexual health clinic (SHC) was facing challenges of low staff morale, uncertainty around future tendering arrangements and declining attendances. Quality improvement methods were used to empower the multidisciplinary team to find solutions for improvement and two priorities emerged, to see walk-in patients on time and to extend our evening clinic provision from two to four per week.
To reduce the average waiting time for walk-in patients in a SHC by 50%.
To see every walk-in patient within 20 min of the allocated slot time by April 2015.
Increase productivity by 15%.
Extend evening clinic provision within existing resource.
Introduce asymptomatic quick check service.
Methods A quality improvement approach, using the Institute of Healthcare Improvement’s model for improvement was used. The whole multidisciplinary team (MDT) met bi-monthly and ideas were tested using plan, do, study, act (PDSA) cycles. Measurement was introduced using statistical process control charts.
Results The quick check service shows a 40% increase in uptake, from 10 to 14 patients (average), (range 4–23). We introduced minimum patient allocated numbers, following these interventions there is a 42% reduction in average waiting times from allocated slot time (31 min pre and 18 min post intervention). Our productivity last month increased by 14%.
Discussion/conclusion A quality improvement approach was a successful method to improve the quality of our services, respond to patient feedback and effect change in a sexual health clinic.
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