I’ve attached the memo we are submitting to the City Manager’s office in answer to the concerns regarding the clinic. I appreciate the issues you brought to light and I hope we can address some of those through the strategies attached to this e-mail.
Here is the attached memo, with certain parts bolded by me.
TO: Kevin Gipson, Director of Health
FROM: Kendra Williams, Administrator of Community Health & Epidemiology
DATE: June 3, 2008
Re: STD/HIV Clinic Operations
I understand that an individual who was turned away from the STD clinic addressed City Council on June 2, 2008 with concerns over the number of individuals seen in the clinic. I would like to give an overview of the clinic operations as they currently stand and then plans that are in place to increase the efficiency of the clinic.
Currently, the STD clinic is operated on a walk-in basis Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Individuals wishing to get an appointment for STD testing can do so on Thursday afternoons. Tuesdays and Thursdays are open all day for walk-in HIV testing. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department STD clinic is the only free clinic operating in the area. We accept individuals regardless of residency because diseases do not recognize County boundaries.
There are two nurses that work in the clinic (we are currently trying to hire a third) and each nurse will see 3 patients in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. On a normal clinic day, the two nurses would see a total of 12 patients. In the past 3 years, we have seen an average of 200 individuals each month in the clinic.
A study conducted since January of this year has revealed that approximately 55 individuals are being turned away each month from the clinic due to capacity issues. These capacity issues are being addressed by looking into a new service model. Research has been done to identify best practices for STD clinics operating similarly to our own. We have taken those practices and developed a proposal to better utilize our resources to serve the public. The proposed changes would involve going from mostly walk-in operations to appointment-based operations and running those appointments 4 ½ days each week. Theoretically, this would double the number of patients that could be seen each month from 200 to 400. The new goal for changing clinic philosophy is that no patient is turned away.
Overall, I'd say this is an excellent start. I have e-mailed her back and asked to be kept aware of how the new policies are working. Hooray!