The availability of same-day appointments provides patients with a unique level of convenience and peace of mind...
Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) January 19, 2017
Allegheny Health Network (AHN) officials today announced a bold new step to greatly enhance the experience of patients who seek access to the Network’s programs and services in the greater Pittsburgh region. Starting January 23, patients who call AHN by 11 a.m. requesting primary or specialty care appointments will be offered one for that same afternoon.
AHN is the first healthcare provider in the region and among the first nationally to improve the timeliness of healthcare delivery by offering same-day appointments for both primary and specialty care.
“Our goal is to provide patients with an exceptional experience across every touchpoint within our Network. Offering same-day appointments is a significant milestone, and the first of many to come, in our efforts to exceed the expectations of those we care for and further improve the health of the communities we serve,” said Cynthia Hundorfean, AHN President and CEO.
According to survey results recently published by Merritt Hawkins, the average wait time to see a physician for five medical specialties in 15 metropolitan areas across the U.S. is 18.5 days.
Kenyokee Crowell, Senior Vice President of Clinical Access at AHN, said the Network’s same-day appointment pledge reflects its commitment to delivering the highest quality of care and service to patients every day.
“We understand how frustrating it can be having to wait days or even weeks for a medical appointment and the challenge that many people have fitting appointments into their hectic schedules,” said Crowell. “The availability of same-day appointments provides patients with a unique level of convenience and peace of mind in knowing that whenever they or someone in their family needs to see one of our caregivers, they have the opportunity to do so within hours of making the call.”
Patients can schedule a same-day appointment by calling 412.DOCTORS (412.362.8677) between 7 a.m. and 11 a.m., Monday through Friday. Based on the patient’s need, AHN will find the most appropriate healthcare provider and location based on the availability of services. The provider could include a primary care physician, specialty physician, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant.
Same-day appointments are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. When patients call after 11 a.m., they are offered either a same-day appointment pending availability, or the next available appointment. Certain clinical needs could result in an exception to the same-day commitment, Crowell said. In this instance, the call will be triaged by a member of the AHN Care Connect team.
Elie Aoun, MD, AHN Medical Director for Clinical Access, said offering same-day appointments is consistent with the Network’s patient-centered care philosophy.
“Expediting access to healthcare services positively impacts the entire patient experience,” said Dr. Aoun. “By eliminating long wait times for appointments and addressing a patients’ health concerns in a more timely and well-coordinated fashion, better clinical outcomes can ultimately be achieved.”
Dr. Aoun added that patients calling for appointments who have an acute illness or injury may still be referred to an urgent care center or emergency department if their symptoms require it. He also said patients should review their health insurance benefits to determine if pre-authorization is required for a same-day appointment.
About Allegheny Health Network
Allegheny Health Network (AHN.org), part of Highmark Health, is an integrated healthcare delivery system serving the greater Western Pennsylvania region. The Network is composed of eight hospitals, including Allegheny General Hospital, its flagship academic medical center in Pittsburgh, Allegheny Valley Hospital in Natrona Heights, Canonsburg Hospital in Canonsburg, Forbes Hospital in Monroeville, Jefferson Hospital in Jefferson Hills, Saint Vincent Hospital in Erie, West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh and Westfield Memorial Hospital in Westfield, NY. The Network provides patients with access to a complete spectrum of medical services, including nationally recognized programs for primary and emergency care, cardiovascular disease, cancer care, orthopedic surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, women’s health, diabetes and more. It also is home to a comprehensive research institute; Health + Wellness Pavilions; an employed physician organization, home and community based health services and a group purchasing organization. The Network employs approximately 17,000 people, has more than 2,800 physicians on its medical staff and serves as a clinical campus for Drexel University College of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, and the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.