Gouverneur began its expanded Saturday schedule during April. The new Saturday schedule is part of a comprehensive plan to improve access to services, reduce wait time, and become more patient centered through continuous improvement efforts. The new schedules will make it easier for community members who are busy during weekdays to get services at times that are more convenient for them on Saturdays and evenings.
The expanded schedules were made possible by reviewing existing provider and staff schedules in order to find opportunities for greater productivity and efficiency. The Urgent Care Center was closed and the staff was redeployed to create additional capacity. These changes are also consistent with the facility's goal to place greater emphasis upon primary care and being viewed by our patients as their medical home.
Gouverneur had explored Saturday services in the past, and were offering some Saturday clinical services. However, the current initiative is more comprehensive than past efforts and includes a broad range of medical, specialty and ancillary services. Patients can have their prescriptions filled, laboratory tests, and x-rays done on Saturdays in addition to receiving medical care.
Ambulatory care administration has an active program to survey patients and solicit feedback, including the use of the successful patient navigator program. Patients who came to Gouverneur for Saturday services found the facility to be quieter and less crowded. Many patients indicated that they found the atmosphere on Saturdays preferable to the more hectic pace and crowds on weekdays. The Saturday program is being continuously fine-tuned in response to patient feedback.
Gouverneur now has one of HHC's busiest Saturday ambulatory care schedule. It is believed the transition to a six-day service model may become more common at HHC facilities if the Gouverneur effort continues to be a success.