Monday, March 10, 2008

New program from Saskatchewan Health Quality Council aims to help clinics, specialists improve access to services

International expert to serve as adviser

SASKATOON, March 6 /CNW/ - Lengthy waiting lists, patient no-shows, and frantic workdays could become a thing of the past for health care providers in Saskatchewan, thanks to a new program being offered by the Health Quality Council, in conjunction with an international expert in improving access.

Clinical Practice Redesign (CPR) is a method proven to decrease wait times and missed appointments as well as improve patient/provider satisfaction and efficiency. The approach has been used successfully by some providers in Saskatchewan and other provinces, as well as in the United States. The Health Quality Council is offering CPR School, a hands-on training program for anyone interested in learning the method - clinicians, office managers, and medical assistants.

Catherine Tantau, an internationally recognized authority on access, efficiency, and patient flow through health care systems, is the expert adviser to the program. Ms. Tantau led the creation and implementation of the Clinical Practice Redesign model. She has worked with hundreds of health care organizations in the U.S. and Europe on improving access and efficiency, including the National Health Service of Great Britain and Kaiser Permanente in California.

The Clinical Practice Redesign method applies to any appointment or referral based system. The tools and techniques help practices understand their supply (available appointments) and demand (requests for appointments) and find ways of better matching supply and demand.

"When you have a waiting list that's two or three months long, it might seem like you don't have enough people or appointment slots to meet the demand," says Bonnie Brossart, CEO of Health Quality Council. "Practices are often surprised to discover that they have enough capacity; clinical practice
redesign is about helping providers and office staff understand their system and use their capacity more effectively. It takes some work, but the end result is a more efficient office that allows patients to be seen in a timely manner and providers to spend more time with their patients."

The Saskatchewan Medical Association (SMA) and the Ministry of Health are supporting this initiative by sponsoring spots in the program for ten physician practices.

CPR School will begin its first training sessions in April 2008. There are a limited number of spots available to interested participants. More information is available on the Health Quality Council web site: or by calling (306)668-8810, ext. 104.

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