Centralization of Primary Care Scheduling

Centralization of Primary Care Scheduling

Client challenge

The client first engaged with RelateCare with concerns about their decentralized and siloed patient scheduling operations. Each Primary Care Clinic had their own separate scheduling team and appointment scheduling system, which led to operational inefficiencies in the organization. These inefficiencies contributed to a diminished patient experience, instances of the wrong patient scheduled with the wrong provider, low quality scores and incorrect staffing levels, costing the organization unnecessary dollars. With no set of standardized scheduling policies and protocols, schedulers were required to memorize or reference documented protocols per each physicians preferences. This lack of standardized scheduling created an environment prone to errors with dissatisfied patients and providers.

RelateCare’s solution

The first step in RelateCare’s suite of solutions was to perform a Current State Assessment of the client’s Contact Center and Clinic scheduling operations, including the use of Epic (Electronic Health Record) during the scheduling process. The assessment itself involved the consultancy team spending a total of six days on site in Omaha with leadership to determine strengths and weaknesses.

The findings of this report and its recommendations formed the basis of an elevated Contact Center Vision, the optimization of their EHR scheduling functionality and a future planning strategy document.

Based on these insights a number of work-streams were agreed upon:

  • Centralization of Clinic Scheduling: The standardization of all scheduling and appointment protocols under one system.
  • Implementation of Guided Scheduling Questionnaires (GSQs): GSQs are a standardized, rules-based, decision-tree appointment logic that contains a series of questions to assist in the scheduling of appointments.
  • Implementation of Workforce Management (WFM): A systematic staffing solution to ensure that employees are engaged and productive and the right people are doing the right job.
  • Creation of a Quality Assurance (QA) Program: The establishment of a Service Excellence culture with enhanced skills and procedures to improve customer and patient interaction.

Impact on client’s business

Throughout several work streams, RelateCare has succeeded in improving the performance of the Patient Access Center.

1: Centralization of Clinic Scheduling

The Centralization of Clinic Scheduling had a direct impact on contact center efficiency which led to less waste, and better patient experience with significant financial savings.


increase in scheduled appointments leading to return on investment (ROI) of $100,000 per month


savings per 400,000 calls as a result of increased answer rates


Decreased Abandonment Rate from a high of 21% to a low of 3% post-centralization


decrease in the average speed of answer from 160 seconds to 35 seconds post the Centralization of Clinic Scheduling


increase in Calls Handled from a low of 79% to a high of 95%.

2: Guided Scheduling Questionaires

The Implementation of GSQs helped the client to gain significant savings.


savings as a result of reducing FTEs required by ten 

3: Workforce Management

The implementation of a WFM Program ensured the right staffing levels were matched to the volume of calls and interactions. WFM had an immediate impact on the Service Level and Abandonment Rate.


increase in Service Level from 72% to 83% 


abandonment rate

4: Quality Assurance

The Creation of a  QA Program led to more caring, confident and assured scheduling agents, and hence a better patient experience.


increase in Overall Team Quality Score


Talk to us about Access Center Centralization