Team-Tested Practices

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Pictured left to right are team co-leads of the Spine Center for Excellence: Sophia Le, manager, and Kali Dailey, RN, nurse navigator, and OFNHP member. The team revamped its process for evaluating new Medicaid patients, resulting in a 35% decrease in the time needed to connect them to care.

Collaboration Decreases Wait Times for Spinal Care

After realizing Medicaid patients were waiting more than a month to be evaluated for care at their clinic, team members at the Spine Center for Excellence in Clackamas, Oregon, came up with a plan of action. Staff members began to share responsibility for administering a state-mandated questionnaire for Medicaid patients seeking care. Previously, only the team’s registered nurses administered the evaluations, contributing to a backlog. The team also made telephone appointments with members to complete the questionnaires, instead of making unscheduled calls at random. Over 4 months, the team reduced evaluation wait times for Medicaid members by 35%, from 37 days to 24 days on average.

What can your team do to ensure that team members work at the top of their scope to streamline care, expand options to meet patient needs, and relieve credentialed staff members of administrative tasks so they can deliver patient care?

Here's What Worked

  • Having more team members work up to scope and administer evaluations  
  • Scheduling appointments with members to complete the evaluations instead of making random, unscheduled calls 
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