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ADVANCE Perspective: Physical Therapy & Rehab Medicine

Improved Access for Patients

Published November 9, 2010 2:18 PM by Rebecca Mayer
The services offered by outpatient rehab facilities need to be considered and revamped regularly. But when was the last time that the physical space's impact on access to care was taken into consideration?

The outpatient rehabilitation center at UCLA in Santa Monica, CA, has recently taken measures to improve access to care. The facility has been expanded and relocated in order to reduce patient wait times and increase convenience, according to Ellen Wilson, director of therapy services, rehabilitation and respiratory therapy, UCLA Health System.

With the new location, the staff will be able to improve scheduling efficiency, and will also be able to place patients in the most convenient setting appropriate for their needs. According to Wilson, the busy PT and OT outpatient team includes 25 therapists and currently serves about 150 patients per day, with appointment wait times as long as three weeks. The new Santa Monica location will accommodate an additional five physical therapists, one occupational hand therapist and one speech therapist.

With these additional team members, as well as another outpatient rehabilitation clinic planned in collaboration with the UCLA Spine Center to open in Santa Monica early next year, the objective is to reduce appointment wait times to less than one week.

What can be done at your outpatient facility to streamline scheduling issues and to improve access for your patients?

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