Update:  Greenlane Patient Feedback

Update Greenlane Patient Feedback: Big Improvements lead to shorter wait times for surgery


The Reason for Change


Before surgery every patient goes through pre-admission to make sure they are ready and it is safe for surgery to go ahead.


Prior to this project, patients nearly always came into the Greenlane clinic for a pre-admission check and, at these visits, many spent at least 35% of their time waiting to be seen.  When this time was added to more time spent with the doctor or nurse together with the patient's travel time, it was very clear that pre-admission checks were taking quite a chunk out of your day.


During 2012, ORL (ear, nose and throat) began trialling a new phone pre-admission process.  This involved assessing patients based on their health and the complexity of surgery after which those patients who were assessed as having lower risk were able to have their pre-admission appointment over the phone.


A Better Preadmission Experience


Susan Somerville, the Nurse Specialist who does the ORL's pre-admission phone appointments, said: "The new process has had a huge impact.  Now many patients are phoned so they experience a more convenient pre-admission.  Because this also frees up time in the clinics, patients who do have to come in to have their pre-admission checks in person are also spending less time waiting to complete their checks."


Wendy Ravelich, Service Manager, Greenlane Clinical Centre, added: "Another benefit is there is now a bigger pool of patients ready for surgery, so if a patient scheduled for surgery cancels, there are other patients who have had their pre-admission checks and are ready  to take their place."


This approach has now also been piloted in Orthopaedics and Gynaecology (General) for those patients who are medically fit.  The ORL (ear, nose, throat) and Gynaecology clinics have also changed location to enable patients to meet with the pharmacist during their appointment and to make it a shorter distance to walk for those patients who require an ECG.


The Results and Outcomes


The pilot has been extremely successful.  170 patients had a pre-admission conversation from January to May 2012 and patients who did come into the clinic waited less time to see the doctor or nurse.


Feedback from our patients has been great.  Those who didn't need to come into Greenlane for a clinic appointment appreciated not having to take time off work to come in.  The patients who still needed to attend clinic appointments commented on the appointment time not taking as long as they had expected.


Altogether, this means that our patients are spending less time waiting.  The trial has been so successful that General Surgery, Opthalmology, Oral Health, Dental Services and other specialities will be using the new pre-admission process and have recruited nurse specialists specifically for the pre-admission phone appointments.