Cobar Primary Health Care has installed a new ‘Happy or Not’ device to help the centre gauge their level of service to locals.
Patients are able to rate their satisfaction with service received quickly and conveniently as they leave the centre.
Practice manager Bernie Martin said the device is another initiative of the centre to better meet the needs of the Cobar community.
She said staff have also compiled the results of a survey patients were recently asked
to complete while waiting for their appointments.
The survey was conducted to help the centre to better understand the needs and expectations of the community.
According to the results of the survey patients identified difficulties in: making an appointment; getting through on the telephone; and seeing the clinician of their choice.
The community also asked for more doctors in Cobar.
Mrs Martin told The Cobar Weekly the centre is making a few changes in an effort to improve patient care and provide better access for the community to see their doctor.
“We understand that it is difficult to get an appointment.
“In the last 12 months our GP workforce has gone from four full time employees to two full time employees, thereby halving our capacity for appointments,” Mrs Martin said.
She explained that two full time doctor
positions have been advertised in medical journals in Australia and New Zealand as well as on the Rural Doctors Network website, Seek and with several recruitment agencies for 12 months.
“There is a GP shortage at the present time with practices on the Central Coast also trying to recruit, however despite this we are still hopeful that we can recruit a GP to the practice and will continue to bring in locums to help where we can,” Mrs Martin.
Mrs Martin explained that in an effort to try and increase capacity the centre is trialling a different booking system from late October.
“We have already introduced phase one with our express clinics which we run Monday to Thursdays from 2pm to 3pm,” Mrs Martin said.
These appointments are for quick appointments such as script renewals and sick certificates.
“We apologise that it has been difficult to phone through when the practice opens.
“Our very old telephone system does not allow for calls to be answered/acknowledged and placed in a queue.
“We have 12 lines that are answered by four staff during the morning peak time,” Mrs Martin said.
It is hoped a new phone system will be able to be installed once extensions to the centre are completed.