New Dell Medical School pilot clinic cuts wait times for Women's Health appointments

The Livestrong Cancer Institutes of The University of Texas Dell Medical School are accepting proposals for a Community Art Competition at Dell Medical School through Jan. 2.

The Livestrong Cancer Institutes of The University of Texas Dell Medical School are accepting proposals for a Community Art Competition at Dell Medical School through Jan. 2.

Wait times for complex gynecology appointments have decreased by 31 days for women in Travis County who have low incomes or no insurance thanks to a new pilot clinic launched by Dell Medical School, CommUnity Health Centers and the Community Care Collaborative, a news release said.

As of late May, those women typically had to wait 55 days to get an appointment with a urogynecologist to receive treatment for pelvic floor disorders, which include conditions, such as pelvic organ prolapse, bladder pain, and urinary or fecal incontinence.

Through the clinic, the average wait time has fallen to 24 days for initial appointments and 10 days for follow-up appointments. Patients can now also receive care from a nurse practitioner in 15 days.

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One-fourth of adult U.S. women have reported at least one pelvic floor disorder, according to a 2014 study published in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“This is important progress in our effort to deliver the right care at the right time for women who face this complex disease state,” Dr. Amy Young, chairwoman of Dell Med’s Department of Women’s Health, said in the news release. “Too many women have waited a long time to get this needed care.”

Before the pilot, a single urogynecologist was available to CommUnityCare patients in just one four-hour clinic session each week, the news release said. Through the pilot, there is now a second urogynecologist working in these sessions, and patients can receive care from a nurse practitioner with urogynecology expertise four days per week in the Women’s Health Clinic located in downtown Austin.

The clinic also has an in-house pelvic floor physical therapist and a licensed clinical social worker to help with the social or emotional needs of patients, the news release said.

“This pilot project is already a success, with more of our women now able to connect with the urogynecology services they need,” Dr. Alan Schalscha, CommUnityCare’s chief medical officer, said. “Moving forward, we expect this success to continue, and we know that many more of our women will receive the help they need through this partnership and the innovations it creates.”

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