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Rural Health Clinic expands capacity to reduce patient wait times

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Rural Health Clinic expands capacity to reduce patient wait times

Northern Inyo Healthcare District’s Rural Health Clinic (RHC) will increase its capacity and appointment availability starting Monday, July 1, 2024. This expansion will provide more appointment times and enhance access to care for the community.

The decision to expand capacity comes in response to increasing wait times for appointments with RHC providers. According to Dr. Adam Hawkins, Chief Medical Officer at Northern Inyo Healthcare District, the new approach aims to reduce these wait times to a more reasonable period.

To accommodate the increase in appointments, the RHC will slightly shorten the length of some visit types, such as routine check-ups and follow-up visits. Hawkins acknowledged these adjustments will result in less patient time spent in the room with the provider, but will allow the clinic to offer more appointments, ensuring that all patients receive timely care.

“Time with providers is valuable, and this decision was made with all patients' best interests in mind,” said Dr. Hawkins. “By making these adjustments, more patients can be seen, and wait times will be reduced, ultimately improving access to the high-quality care our communities deserve.”

The RHC cares for more than 30,000 patients annually, and its providers remain committed to delivering exceptional healthcare services. The clinic’s team is working diligently to ensure a smooth transition and maintain the quality of care. NIHD notes that this change does not affect the Rural Health Women’s Clinic.

To help streamline visits and align patient expectations with the upcoming changes, Northern Inyo Healthcare District emphasizes the importance of clear and open communication. Patients are asked to arrive 20 minutes early for appointments. This time allows the RHC team to adequately prepare for the visit and process any necessary forms patients may bring with them. Patients are encouraged to come prepared for their appointments, bringing any necessary documentation, medication lists, and questions for their provider.

“Our goal is to enhance our ability to serve the community while maintaining the high standard of care that patients have come to expect,” said Dr. Hawkins. “The understanding and cooperation of patients are appreciated as these necessary changes are implemented.”

For more information about the changes at the RHC, or to schedule an appointment, please call (760) 873-2849.