Our first walk-in clinic in the Kitsap Region, located at our Silverdale Medical Center, has been well received since opening in mid-2015. It has improved patient access, and we’ve recently opened a second clinic at our Port Orchard facility.
Challenges we’re addressing
The Kitsap Region has historically struggled with access to primary care. High utilization, coupled with higher than average numbers of patients with acute conditions, has resulted in Kitsap lagging behind our other regions in service delivery and patient satisfaction.
In addition, the urgent care clinic at our Silverdale facility has had a high percentage of “convenience care” (low-acuity) patients, which has resulted in longer than desired door-to-provider times for high-acuity patients, and more hospital emergency department visits.
The walk-in clinic at our Silverdale Medical Center was introduced to offer drop-in care for minor health issues such as colds, allergies, ear infections, splinters, and insect bites. Care is provided by a physician assistant or nurse practitioner on a first come, first served basis, with 10-minute visits that are limited to one health issue.
“Since the Silverdale walk-in clinic opened, the number of low-acuity patients we’re seeing in urgent care is progressively decreasing, making room for high-acuity patients who are best served in urgent care,” says Redge Campbell, regional director of operations, Kitsap Region. “Patient satisfaction with access has steadily improved because of the availability of walk-in care.”
Second walk-in clinic and next steps
“In late February 2017, we opened our second walk-in clinic in the region, at our Port Orchard Medical Center, and we expect it to bring similar improvements in both primary care and urgent care access,” says Campbell. “In addition, we’re considering expanding the walk-in clinic hours to weekends at Silverdale, and accepting both same-day appointments and walk-ins during typically low-volume hours. The clinics are becoming our patients’ front door for accessing primary care for low-acuity conditions.”