Frequently Asked Questions

What can my SBHC program do to improve clinic efficiency?

Enable each staff member to work at the top of their licensure or job description:

  • Assign providers adequate clinical time for patient care and necessary non-clinical time for other responsibilities as required (i.e., meetings, outreach, and administration). Do not include non-clinical hours when calculating efficiency and productivity.
  • Conduct an analysis of the activities providers engage in from the time the patient arrives until the patient leaves the SBHC; identify which of their activities are non-clinical and could be reassigned to other staff members.
  • Reassign any non-clinical provider activities (e., registration, health history, vital signs, etc.) to other team members (clinical and administrative support staff). This will allow other them to perform at the top of their licenses and job descriptions.
  • Prepare ahead of time for next day’s appointments. This allows time to verify current consent and insurance status and assess the need for completion of national best practices for SBHCs: well care visit, risk assessment, BMI, annual depression and Chlamydia screening.

Implement effective appointment systems:

  • Develop scheduling protocols for walk-in and scheduled-ahead appointments.
  • Simplify scheduling by offering two types of visits to reduce wait times and unused visits: a short 20-minute visit for established patients with acute needs and a long 40-minute visit for new patients, well care visits, complicated health histories, or non-English speaking.
  • Determine how many visit slots you need to have available for walk-in visits.
  • Add appointment slots during non-school hours if possible to generate more visits, encourage family participation, and reduce the time students are out of class.
  • Limit the number of appointments booked more than two weeks ahead to minimize no-shows.
  • Implement system for administrative support staff to notify students/teachers when the SBHC is ready for them to proceed to clinic. This minimizes time out of class and unnecessary wait.
  • Use text messaging to have patients confirm or reschedule their appointments.