The new Clinic under Island Hospital’s leadership started seeing patients on Monday, April 5th. Over the first month, the team provided 930 patient care visits. The types of services delivered included:
- 629 provider visits
- 152 lab visits
- 143 nurse visits
- 6 in person after hours emergent visits
In addition to the activity within the Clinic, Island Hospital’s Call Center team in Anacortes has been handling a large volume of calls from the Orcas community. The number of daily calls has consistently exceeded 150 – way beyond what was anticipated. As a result, we have seen the usually brief wait times increase significantly. Island Hospital’s leadership takes this very seriously and has been working diligently to improve the call center experience.
The following actions are underway to mitigate long wait times:
- Added 4 new staff members and new positions to support call center
- Redirected administrative staff on Anacortes campus to support calls
- Redesigned message path to reduce time required to navigate the system
- Revised the Call Back setup to prompt this option sooner
- Created an Orcas specific option within the phone routing process
A clinic transition of this magnitude involves a lot of moving parts and parties, and the entire team has done an exceptional job in working to minimize the disruption to patients and patient care. While the vast majority of interactions have gone very well, we realize that has not been everyone’s experience.
In any change there are going to be bumps along the way. Organizations should be judged on how quickly they take ownership of a problem, and their response when faced with challenges. We have been impressed by the speed at which the Island Hospital leadership has worked to resolve a variety of unexpected issues that they have identified through the first month of operations. That said, not every solution can happen quickly, and fully resolving the Call Center challenges is something that will take a bit of time. We recognize that in the interim patients might continue to experience service levels that are not where we all want them to be, and I want to assure the community that everyone is focused on expediting improvements.
I would also like to ask that the community maintain confidence in, and respect for our very hard working health care team. The Clinic Manager, Aaimee Johnson, and I are always available to assist in resolving problems and receiving feedback. I encourage community members to utilize those channels to share your experiences and ask for help in resolving your customer service issues. That is always the most effective and efficient way to get resolution and serves us all well.
Superintendent Anne Presson