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Most services at the Health Department’s county health centers are provided using a same-day scheduling system.
Clients needing services other than the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program can call for an appointment starting at 8 a.m. on the day they wish to be seen. Appointments will be scheduled on a first-come, first served basis until all appointments for the day are booked. Those who do not get an appointment that day will be asked to call again the following day.
Services offered with same-day appointments at the health centers include:
How to make an appointment
The health centers use an open sccess scheduling system for services other than WIC.
Each center's phones open for taking appointments at 8 a.m. and will close when all appointments for the day are full, which can be as early as 8:30 a.m. or as late as 4 p.m. depending on the day. Call the health center where you want to be seen to make an appointment.
The earlier you call, the larger your selection of appointments will be for the day. The later you wait in the day to make your appointment, the more likely you are to have very little selection in appointment times, or you will find that all the appointments for the day have have been filled.
In order to provide timely and efficient services, clients are encouraged to arrive on time for their appointment. Individuals who show up later than 15 minutes after their scheduled appointment will most likely need to reschedule. Sometimes, we are able to work late arrivals into our schedule, but this generally leaves other participants, who arrived on time, to wait longer for their appointment.
Knowing when to make an appointment
Returning clients who will need to come back for follow-up or additional services will be given a reminder card. The card will indicate the time frame (on or after a certain date) that the client should be seen. The client is responsible for scheduling the appointment in the appropriate time frame.
New clients will simply call when they feel they need a service.
Common questions and answers
I already have an appointment for WIC scheduled. Can I coordinate my appointments so I don't have to make another trip to the health center? Call and speak to our clerical schedulers to see if that particular day can accommodate your other services. We try to schedule all services so you can receive multiple services at the same time because it makes it easier for you. Sometimes we can not accommodate the request. If this happens, make sure you remind us when you come back and we will try to get you on a schedule that can help you.
I am unable to call at 8 a.m. What should I do? Call as early as you are able to. Realize that the later in the day you call, the more limited your selection of appointment times may be. The benefit of this type of scheduling is that you can always call each day and try again. Call at your earliest convenience when the day and time is right for you. We will try to accommodate your request anytime between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.
Can someone else call to schedule an appointment for me? No. To protect your confidentiality, we require the actual client call and make the appointment.
Can I walk-in for services? While walk-ins for services can sometimes be accommodated, it is preferred that clients call that day to schedule an appointment. You will have a better chance of being seen if you call in advance.
I have called several mornings in a row and am still having trouble scheduling an appointment. What should I do? If you call multiple times to get an appointment and are unable to do so, ask to speak to the Clinic Manager. He/she will listen to your concerns and work with you to find a solution. This new system requires everyone to be flexible, both the clients and the Health Department staff, but the Clinic Manager can help you navigate the system and get the appointment day/time that best fits your needs.
If I can't get an appointment at one health center, can I go to a different center? While clients don't have to use the health center in the county where they live, we ask that they stay at the same center for services, so that their records can be maintained in one place. If a service is urgent and appointments at one center are booked, our staff may direct you to a center that has an opening.
Can I give my opinion of the new system? Yes. We definitely want to hear how the community likes the system, if their needs were met when they requested services, and if they would recommend our services to friends and family. The goal of the same-day scheduling system is to provide services when the client needs them--not wait for weeks or months later to be seen for a health issue that you are experiencing today. Ask to speak to the Clinic Manager to voice any comments you have about the new scheduling system.
We will also be evaluating the new system periodically and making changes as we feel the need. Community feedback is the best way to make the system better.
What if I get conflicting information on separate days that I call to schedule an appointment? We have been training our Clinical staff for over a month now in using this new system. We are confident the system we have in place will benefit our community. With every new change their is always a learning curve. We ask for your patience during this period just as we will help educate you on the changes. Overall, we feel the system will make it easier to access our care for you.