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CIBC Breast Centre benefitting from more structured model of care in its clinic

Toronto, April 2, 2014

By Heather Brown

Luis Silva, a supervisor with Environmental Services, sells a Valentine’s candygram.
Pearl Edwards-Vialva, a clerical coordinator, reviews a patient’s file with Valerie Cole, a clerical assistant, in the CIBC Breast Centre. (Photo by Yuri Markarov)

The CIBC Breast Centre functions much differently now than it did a year ago.

Although it was well known for its “one-stop” clinical and imaging model and provided excellent care, there were still opportunities to enhance the patient experience.

Patients received hand-written appointment cards with few details about their next visit other than a date, time and location and would often have to phone the clinic for additional information.

The centre used a scheduling system for clinic appointments that was not compatible with other ambulatory clinics.

Today, all clinic appointment information is stored in the Soarian Scheduling System that is accessible in almost all of St. Michael’s ambulatory clinics. Patients receive a printed copy of their appointment details including information on documents to bring next time such as previous breast imaging CD/films and reports done at another institution.

Sorian helps the centre gather metrics to measure clinic performance. Previously, the team’s ability to track performance measures was limited. Before Sorian, the centre was answering only 61 per cent of its calls but today 83 per cent of calls are answered, which means that patients can reach a staff member 83 per cent of the time. Prior to this the team had no idea the rate at which its calls were being answered.

“These changes didn’t happen overnight but they have helped us operate more efficiently,” said Pearl Edwards-Vialva, clerical coordinator of the CIBC Breast Centre. “By transitioning our scheduling system we have been able to look at the number of missed appointments more closely, analyze why certain clinics were being cancelled, work with our physicians to schedule additional clinics to reduce patient wait times and to assist patients with wayfinding by directing them to their appropriate clinic location.”

Other benefits include the ability to align patient appointments with other appointments in the hospital, a five-day turnaround time to book referrals and a clearer insight into how a patient is moving through the system.

About St. Michael's Hospital

St. Michael’s Hospital provides compassionate care to all who enter its doors. The hospital also provides outstanding medical education to future health care professionals in 27 academic disciplines. Critical care and trauma, heart disease, neurosurgery, diabetes, cancer care, care of the homeless and global health are among the hospital’s recognized areas of expertise. Through the Keenan Research Centre and the Li Ka Shing International Healthcare Education Centre, which make up the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, research and education at St. Michael's Hospital are recognized and make an impact around the world. Founded in 1892, the hospital is fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.