Cabarrus Health Alliance, NC
Cabarrus Health Alliance (CHA) serves roughly 3,000 participants. Data from 2014 to 2018 reveals a decline in participation across all categories, with children ages 1-4 representing the largest loss in number and second largest loss in percentage. One possible barrier leading children to drop out of WIC early is participant dissatisfaction with CHA’s open access same-day booking because of long hold times.
Meet the Cabarrus Health Alliance HPRIL Team
The innovative tool CHA implemented to improve child retention was a combined Online Appointment Scheduling (OAS) and queue management device called QLess. It was available by smartphone and/or computer and allowed participants to make appointments and send text reminders. This tool assisted with appointment waiting times by facilitating easy, immediate, and reliable access to WIC services.
To evaluate the effectiveness of the QLess Online Scheduling platform, CHA WIC utilized a quasi-experimental design. CHA was the intervention group, while Catawba WIC, a nearby agency with a similar caseload and participant demographics, was the comparison site.
The outcome evaluation answered the question, “Did the QLess Online Scheduling platform contribute to improved retention rates of children and did QLess lead to a positive change in the overall volume of appointments booked and kept?”
To learn more about Cabarrus Health Alliance’s HPRIL project, please contact Pady Doroodchi at Pady.Doroodchi@CabarrusHealth.org.
RESOURCES FROM CABARRUS HEALTH ALLIANCE
Cabarrus Health Alliance QLESS Online Booking System
Appointment Scheduling Flyer
IN THEIR OWN WORDS…
What motivated you to pursue this innovation?
We’ve had very limited staff working in WIC due to budget cuts, and we’ve had a large volume of calls to make WIC appointments. It created long hold times for participants and burnout among staff who have to make the appointments… creating an online booking system gives participants flexibility to book appointments and gives staff more time to work with participants.
What has been the most exciting thing to date about your project?
I think the most exciting thing to date is just to see that individuals are using the appointment booking system and getting positive feedback about the reminder texts and the ability to easily cancel at any moment if they need to cancel.