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Same-Day Appointments Drive Higher Patient Volume

By Christopher Cheney  
   December 07, 2017

A Pennsylvania health system has scheduled 145,000 same-day appointments in this year’s debut of the offering, and they now make up 15% of its primary care visits.

Patients want same-day appointments. Providers resist because they replace filled appointments with open blocks. But to drive patient volume, same-day appointments work. Allegheny Health Network drove primary care volume at least 5% in a single year behind a strategy of same day appointments.

Following months of preparation, Allegheny Health Network started offering same-day appointments in January for more than 150 primary care physicians and 20 specialties including surgical practices. Since the initiative was launched, AHN has scheduled 145,000 of them.

Patients can request a same-day appointment if they call before 11 a.m.

The program gives AHN a competitive advantage and supports quality clinical care, says Kenyokee Crowell, AHN's senior vice president of clinical access.

"If you call for a same-day appointment and are a primary care patient of AHN, even if you do not see your [usual] provider, you will see a colleague of the provider who will have access to your medical records, your medical history, and your medication."

She says patient satisfaction has been high among patients booking same-day appointments, with primary care patients posting 96% satisfaction and specialty patients posting 92% satisfaction.  

Christopher Cheney is the senior clinical care​ editor at HealthLeaders.


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