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  • Writer's pictureShawn Frasier

Implementation and Benefits of Same Day Access In Behavioral Health

According to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing, same-day appointments have a 90 percent chance of being kept whereas next-day appointments only have a 75 percent chance. That means that 25 percent of individuals with next-day or future appointments cancel or simply do not show up! Many mental health organizations are seeking new ways to ensure quick and efficient access to mental health services when individuals need them most. This effort is often referred to as Same Day Access (SDA).

SDA allows a person who calls or appears at a provider during SDA hours of operation to receive access that same day instead of potentially waiting days or weeks for a mental health appointment. SDA can help agencies:

  • Eliminate “no show” appointments

  • Increase attendance at follow-up appointments

  • Reduce wait time for appointments

  • Increase cost-effectiveness of staff resources

  • Provide patients access to mental health care services with as few barriers as possible

Based on service rendered in the 10-day window, many agencies work to provide additional services within 30-days of contact.

Pinnacle Health Informatics is often asked to assist in the tracking and monitoring of the data surrounding Same Day Access. Effective data monitoring tools, such as dashboards and data visualizations, are essential to the implementation of SDA. These data tools help an agency monitor performance and correct issues that may arise in the implementation of Same Day Access. In addition, SDA visualizations can give deep insight into patient population behavior and SDA efforts.

We can get a glimpse of what SDA data can provide by referencing the following high-level summarized visualization. This can be a great starting point for SDA data exploration:

This glimpse gives us a general overview, but drilling down into the data can show us additional details relating to service-level data for a given month:

These trends and patterns provide powerful and effective visualizations that assist organizations in understanding overall performance of SDA. As seen below, average days between initial service first offered and initial first appointment both decreased with the implementation of SDA, even though client count remained the same.

Pinnacle can also help your organization achieve a deeper look into data trends with more advanced visualizations, such as box-and-whisker charts which display quartile data and show data variance over time.

Same Day Access Practices, when applied effectively, can greatly benefit the client population and help agencies utilize resources more effectively. When data is combined with effective visualizations and business intelligence tools, stakeholders at all levels can affect positive change more quickly and help patients achieve better outcomes.

Pinnacle Health Informatics can help your organization achieve these outcomes. Learn more about how we can assist you in implementing this process with a free consultation today.

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