Online Program

Improving access to a community health center's podiatric specialty clinic: A quality improvement project with a clinical microsystems approach

Tuesday, November 5, 2013 : 1:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

Dyane Tower, DPM, MPH, MS, American Podiatric Medical Association, Lake Forest, IL
Community health centers (CHCs) are designed to reduce disparities affecting minority groups, poor and uninsured Americans, provide a safety net of support and play a prominent role in providing care for disadvantaged populations. CHCs are the medical home for approximately 5% of the current US population and deliver care to nearly 20 million people. As Medicaid expands and health insurance exchanges are established, the percentage of Americans utilizing CHC services will grow. Many are concerned that the capacity of CHCs to care for patients beyond primary care will be inadequate. With the increase in CHC patronage, the need for subspecialty care will also increase. The patient wait time for completion of a podiatric specialty referral in a community health center was identified as a specialty care access challenge and a quality improvement project using a clinical microsystems approach was performed in an attempt to improve access to the podiatric specialty clinic. An in depth evaluation of this health services process was undertaken. Statistical process analysis for podiatric referral wait time was performed, followed by the presentation of recommendations to reduce long wait times for patients referred to this community health center's podiatric specialty clinic.

Learning Areas:

Systems thinking models (conceptual and theoretical models), applications related to public health

Learning Objectives:
Describe clinical microsystems approach to quality improvement work in the community health center setting

Keyword(s): Access to Care, Community Health Centers

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: As a provider in this community health center, podiatric specialty care access was found to be a health services challenge and, as a student of public health, I followed the quality improvement pathway that culminated in a quality improvement capstone project on podiatric specialty care access in the community health center. The abstract reflects this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.