Implementing Same Day Access

Eliminate “No-Shows” and Position Organizations for the Future


Legacy approaches to scheduling and client access mean that, for many individuals in need of behavioral and specialty healthcare services, it can be weeks between the call to request an appointment and the first visit. Not surprisingly, the result is too many behavioral health providers with consistent no-show rates of between 30 and 50 percent. The impact of sustained no-shows is system wide and significant.

• Paying for nonbillable staff time strains budgets while diverting resources from other essential needs.
• Community partners become reluctant to make referrals.
• And most importantly, when wait times get pushed out, clinicians miss the opportunity to engage with clients when they are ready … a lot can change in ten days.

 

Change is Hard, But Necessary

For many providers, a shift to Same Day Access is the obvious solution … and a seemingly impossible one to implement. Across the board, the initial reaction to a proposed shift to Same Day Access is the same.

• “We can never do this.”
• “It may work for others, but it won’t work for us.”
• “We cannot afford it.”
• “My program is different.”
• “Don’t change it – it’s the way we’ve always done it and it works just fine.”
• “We can make small changes, we don’t need to go all the way.”
• “How hard can it be? We can do it ourselves.”


Making the “Impossible” Possible

The MTM team has worked with more than 700 provider organizations to successfully implement Same Day Access, enabling clients to come in when they are ready and enhancing the ability of providers to serve more people and with greater efficiently.

How do we make it work? Our clients tell the story.

“We were not getting people the care they needed when they need it and we knew that was not right. We needed to change. In fact, with managed-care coming, we could not afford NOT to change. But we didn’t know how to do it. Joy Fruth showed us how to implement meaningful change starting with Same Day Access. Along the way, she held us accountable and kept us focused. She also helped our team take ownership of the process. She would talk to us about how other organizations have faced the same challenges and how they made it work. But she let us make the decisions and, in the end, we owned our success. Now I wish we had done it a long time ago!”

Lynette Ashmore, LCPC
Executive Director – LifeLinks Mental Health in Mattoon, Illinois

When wait times get pushed out, clinicians miss the opportunity to engage with clients when they are ready … a lot can change in ten days.

“The MTM team kept us focused on moving forward – there was no ‘half way.’ They knew what they were doing and helped us avoid pitfalls we weren’t even aware of. But just as important, they understood the role of consultants. Time and again, Joy would politely challenge our assumptions and say, “here’s my advice … here is what has worked for other organizations.” She would say, “you don’t have to take my advice,” but in the end, she was always right, and we were smart to follow her guidance.”

Stacey Alles, LMHC
Chief Operating Officer – Compass Health in Northwest Washington State

 

“This was a massive change involving so many systems, from the front desk all the way through to the back office. Along the way, we needed to help staff understand the importance of these changes. We couldn’t just force it on them; they had to ‘get it’ and believe it was the right way to go. The key was to involve the staff in the process from the beginning. And I don’t think it would’ve been possible without MTM. I just don’t think you can do this alone. Everything Joy predicted came true and, indeed, the results exceeded our expectations.”

Mary Mitchell
Programs and Projects Analyst – Waukesha County (WI) Health and Human Services

 

”We set out to become a high-performing organization and to do that, we needed to not only change systems, we also needed to change our culture. Same Day Access did that and opened the door to broader thinking. We did not let anyone opt out of change because they thought their program was unique. Scott Lloyd told us, ‘don’t build a system to serve the exceptions. Build the system for 95-98 percent of your clients and deal with the exceptions when they occur.’ It was tough along the way but, in the end, it worked, and it was the right thing to do. And not just from a management perspective. Line staff, community partners, and our clients are glad we pushed ahead. As a behavioral health organization, we offer hope for change. How can we be creators of hope and change if we cannot embrace change ourselves?”

Debbie Bonniwell, MBA, LCSW
Chief Executive Officer - Blue Ridge Behavioral Healthcare in Virginia


At MTM Services, we specialize in transformational change to prepare physical and specialty healthcare providers for the dynamic new value-based healthcare marketplace. We help our clients solve problems, implement new practices, and achieve truly meaningful outcomes.

“Don’t build a system to serve the exceptions. Build the system for 95-98 percent of your clients and deal with the exceptions when they occur.”
– Scott Lloyd, MTM Services

Daisy Berbeco