OUr clinic went through a similar overhaul a couple of years ago. It used to be every nurse did everything everyday. Now, as mentioned above, we have nursing positions. Daily we have 2 triage nurses chained to the phones. The receptionist takes a message and the triage nurse (each one has 5 providers whose patients they triage) prioritizes the calls. ONLY in suspected emergencies does a call get placed directly to the triage nurse. The receptionist gets key words to look for like, chest pain , abdominal pain or numbness, etc. The triage nurse book sthe same day appts. We save 2-4 same day appts per provider. They are always used up.
Also, there are 2 Float nurses at all times (one for each team of 5 providers) who work the paper chase, refills, misc nurse support, nurse visits, walk-ins, relieve for lunch breaks, etc.
And then there is the Primary nurse who may delegate at any time a duty to the float nurse. THis really keeps the flow going, no problems. Each nurse is interchangeable no matter what the task du jour. Although, usually primary nurses stick with that, they can fill in other dutes on provider days off.
There is a similar system for the front office staff. Each staffer can do Phones, Patient check in, Checkout, Referral appointments, etc. and they rotate too.
Ratio is weird: Let's see 10 providers. If they all worked on the same day, that would be 10 primary nurses (but usually 5-6 providers daily- point is, each provider has one nurse). 2 triage nurses daily, no matter how many providers are working htat day, 2 float nurses daily. So in addition to primary nurses, there are 4 support nurses. I bet it's expensive, but it sure works for us.