Improving Primary Care Access
The physical distance between steps in a process adds delays, and the physical location of people can affect processing time and cause communication problems. If the physical location of adjacent steps in a system are moved closer together, work can be directly passed from one step to the next, thereby reducing delays and decreasing the need for additional communication systems.
One example of moving steps closer together is to actually co-locate staff. Efficient, timely, and frequent communication is essential to the functioning of a care team. Staff that need to communicate regularly should be in the same physical location (for example, staff responsible for billing and insurance authorization). Sometimes clinics are even able to co-locate the scheduling and nursing staff with some creative architecture. This really enhances communication between the "front" office and "back" office staff.