Clinical Integration Announces Refinement to Point-of-Service Scheduling

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New Service Level Agreements will help further enhance patient access

By Randy Jernejcic, MD, Vice President, Clinical Integration

UH Clinical Update | July 2019

Thanks to the extraordinary efforts of UH primary care providers and a strong commitment from specialty leadership, we are proud to announce the next refinement in our Point-of-Service scheduling initiative: new Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that will enhance the current escalation numbers on the UH Provider mobile app.

These SLAs outline what to do when a primary care or specialty office is having trouble with patient access or scheduling a patient for a referral appointment at the point of service. Each includes contact information for the specialty administrator, the primary access contact and a clinical contact – typically the department chair. Also included are directions for securing same-day appointments (if available), an access plan to accommodate patients within seven days and guidance on how to handle urgent or emergent diagnoses. Importantly, each SLA also includes a list of tests/requirements that must be completed before the patient is seen, but we’re fortunate that more than 60 UH specialties and sub-specialties have worked with Clinical Integration to compile this information and create these important guidance documents.

This represents a truly remarkable event, UHMG and UHMP specialty practices coming together to help our primary care providers (both adult and pediatric) easily obtain access for our patients in a timely manner. This process has been driven by the daily referral data that practices have collected in the Point-of-Service scheduling process. This data helped inform UH specialty leadership about the needs and areas to improve service to you, your practices and your patients. These new SLAs are also reflective of many innovative practices UH specialties have developed to improve access to their providers.

These new SLAs will start to enhance the current escalation processes by the end of July. In the meantime, I ask you to:

  1. Review the new SLAs and use them when normal methods of scheduling (Schedule Me Now, etc.) do not work for your situation. You can find highlights of each SLA under “Services” on the UH Provider mobile app.
  2. When using the contacts for the SLA’s, please reach to the departments to assist with scheduling and referral facilitation in the following order:
    1. Primary Access Contact
    2. Department Administrator(s) (for some departments, more than one may be listed)
    3. Clinical Lead/Contact
  3. Please let our team in Clinical Integration and your UH physician liaison know if you have ideas for improvement or run into any situations when the SLA does not serve your patients' needs in a timely manner. Our goal is to use the feedback to constantly improve the SLAs over time. These will be living, breathing documents that we will continue to improve based on feedback and experience from frontline staff, providers and patients.

Our goal is simple: UHMG and UHMP specialties, practices and staff working together to break down any barriers to achieving Point-of-Service scheduling, and creating timely access for every patient, every time.  This is a long-term goal, one that will not occur overnight. However, the leadership shown in UH primary care and specialty disciplines to develop these SLAs is the same leadership that will help us rapidly achieve this goal.

For quality, safety, patient experience and overall value, WE ALL OWN ensuring that patients have timely access to care.
Your work on Point-of-Service scheduling and the SLA process is changing the way we care for every patient, every day. Thank you for all you do.

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