Step 1: Patient Care Flow
Patient flow is a core consideration in many patient care improvement techniques as well as tools. In healthcare facilities, patients are expected to move progressively through series of procedures. Ideally, the patients should move from each of the procedures to the succeeding one uninterrupted and steadily (Litvak 2-5). The following is a list of the steps that, ideally, should routinely define the flow.
- Signs in at reception desk
- Reason for visit reviewed with patient by CNA, CMA, or NP
- Doctor, NP, or Physician’s Assistant examines patient
- Height, weight, and blood pressure taken by CNA or CMA
- Patient released from exam room
- Shown to patient care room
- CMS 1500 form is coded and sent to insurance for reimbursement
- Patient called to back office
- Explanation of benefits returns with breakdown of payments
- Practice manager applies payments, writes off amounts required by contract with insurance companies, adjusts patient’s account records, and initiates billing to patient that indicates insurance has processed charges
- Patient pays standard co-pay if applicable
- Collections efforts initiated if patient’s charges not paid, and any insurance appeals are processed
- Call in to schedule appointment
- Patient checks out and pays any deductible verified
- Any refunds due to patient or insurance sent out
- New patient paperwork is signed and returned to front desk with insurance information for verification of benefits
- Hard copy record is pulled, or made if new patient
Step 2: Office Set-Up
The proposed office will be attending to children with diverse medical conditions. The office will have a design capable of allaying the young patients’ anxiety as regards medical visits. The design will as well respond to their parents’ concerns as regards hygiene, access, and wait times. In addition, the design will assist address the interests that staff members and physicians will have in work flow efficiency, job-sharing, and collegiality. The expected patient catchment area for the hospital will be an upscale locality. The patients expected at the hospital will be children of either gender, aged up to 19 years, and with medical cover. The design will be striking to give the office increased competitiveness in the affluent locality, whose population is growing rapidly.
The office will have odd features aimed at reassuring children and addressing the concerns held by their parents. The office will be designed in a way that will make it a congenial and efficient working setting for staff and doctors. The office will not have the traditional waiting area or room. Rather, it will have an outsized, brilliantly decorated waiting room having an open, central reception counter. There will be glass entrances between the waiting room and the principal working area for the facility’s nurses and doctors. The entrances will allow families a view of the activities happening in the working area. The waiting room will have ports allowing parents to link their laptops to the internet and working from the facility as they wait for their children to be treated and released to go home.
The office will not have carpeting. Rather, it will have coated wood flooring. There will be a smaller, separate waiting space for use by newborns along with their mothers. The main waiting room will have easy-to-clean toys provided. As well, one of the room’s walls will have interactive video capabilities, with various LCD screens. The wall will be flashing images of the nurses and doctors donning funny hats and clown noses.
Apart from the principal working area and the waiting areas, the office will have three pods. Each of the pods will be utilized by one staff team and one pediatrician. Each of the pods will have three examination rooms. As well, it will have an intensely colored porch with a relaxed seat, equipment for determining vital signs, and a weighing machine. The porch quarter will facilitate patient flow and serve as the zone where patients will be stationed for observation after treatment or immunization. Each examination room will have a table with steps that will be easy to retract. Patients will climb on the table via the steps. Each of the rooms will have large boards with large numbers and letters glued on them to keep the patients amused.
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