Improve Patient Access

Access to care includes patient access to visits, non-visits, and information for care. Quality of care and avoidance of unwarranted hospitalizations and emergency department utilization are related to better access to primary care.

Why is this important

  • Improved access has been shown to improve clinician productivity and satisfaction

  • Patients have an increasing ability to comparison shop and will demand that clinicians offer good access and amenities such as booking appointments online.

  • As we move toward risk and value-based care for populations, it will be increasingly important to keep patients out of high-cost settings.

How will these tools help?

  • Access is one of the most important reasons why patients select and stay with a practice

  • Improve patient satisfaction

  • Improve continuity of care

  • Increase staff and clinician job satisfaction

  • Improve customer loyalty

  • Higher likelihood that patients will see their own physician for all visits

  • Competitive advantage (retail health clinics, telehealth)


Target Audience

This module is intended to be used by the following practice staff:

  • Physicians
  • Physician Assistants
  • Nurse Practitioners
  • Registered Nurses
  • Medical Assistants
  • Practice Managers

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the issues and workflows that affect patient access in your practice setting.

  • Identify strategies that can be implemented in your practice setting to improve access.

  • Implement strategies to improve patient access using the relevant resources and tools referenced in the module.

  • Assess how well your practice has implemented strategies for improving patient access in your practice setting by completing the module biopsy.

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 20.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.00 Attendance
  • 20.00 ABIM MOC
Course opens: 
Course expires: 
Parent activity set: 

Practice Advisor Content Manager

Kellyn Pearson, MSN, APN1
Manager Practice Support, American College of Physicians


Sara Hayes, MPH1
Associate, Center for Patient Partnership, American College of Physicians

Beverley Johnson1
President and CEO of the Institute for Patient and Family Centered Care

Mary Minniti, BS, CPHQ1
Senior Policy and Program Specialist
Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care (IPFCC)

Juliette Schlucter2
Director, Center for Child and Family Experience
Sala Institute for Child and Family-Centered Care

Melora Simon, MPH2
Program Director, America's Most Valuable Care
Stanford Clinical Excellence Research Center

Jennifer Sweeney, MA1
Vice President, National Partnership for Women and Families

Staff Editors

Wendy Nickel, MPH
Director Center for Patient Partnership, American College of Physicians

Margo Williams
Senior Associate, Practice Management

Samantha Stimpert
Practice Support Coordinator

CME/MOC Credit

*To earn CME credit, you must attest after completion of the second module Biopsy that you have:

  • Participated in the completion of the ACP Practice Biopsy
  • Participated in the review of the ACP Practice Biopsy result
  • Participated in identifying an action plan to improve our practice
  • Participated in the implementation of the plan
  • Participated in the follow-up ACP Practice Biopsy to measure improvement

When you have done so, follow the on-screen instructions to complete and submit the submission form. You will receive confirmation of your submission available as a PDF certificate and via email.

The American College of Physicians is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The American College of Physicians designates this PI CME activity, ACP Practice Advisor® module Improve Patient Access, for a maximum of 20 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Successful completion of this activity enables the participant to earn up to 20 Practice Assessment points in the American Board of Internal Medicine's (ABIM) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) program. It is the sponsor’s responsibility to submit participant completion information to ABIM for the purpose of granting the MOC points.

    Available Credit

    • 20.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
    • 1.00 Attendance
    • 20.00 ABIM MOC

    Accreditation Period

    Course opens: 
    Course expires: 


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