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Patient Flow Analysis for Windows (WinPFA)

PFA for Windows (WinPFA) is the Windows®-compatible public domain computer application for simulating clinic sessions while documenting personnel use and client flow in health service delivery settings. WinPFA’s 13 data reports and 2 graphs help the user identify problems in client flow, determine personnel and space needs, and document the personnel costs associated with client visits. Overall, WinPFA aids in assessing the influence of clinic systems on service delivery.

How is WinPFA Used?

With WinPFA the user has the means to establish a database for self-designed and self-implemented client flow studies. The software’s reports can—

  • Effectively analyze and measure the performance of individual clinics
  • Generate quantifiable data for designing new clinics
  • Institute improved client flow patterns
  • Evaluate staffing needs to increase clinic effectiveness

Examples of specific benefits derived from using this methodology include reduced client waiting time in the clinic, more equitable distribution of workload among clinic staff, an improved appointment system, and greater staff satisfaction with the overall delivery of services. Further, the costing feature allows users to factor costs into possible PFA-driven changes in clinic operations.

What are some of the specific features of WinPFA?

WinPFA offers a range of new or enhanced features that go beyond those offered by the original PFA software. Such features allow the user to—

  • Print the client and staff graphs separately.
  • Import existing PFA data sets.
  • Read WinPFA data sets in MS Access, permitting data analyses not included in WinPFA’s reports.
  • Calculate session costs by using all non-personnel overhead costs and all personnel costs.
  • Document clinic services which the client does not experience face-to-face (i.e., non-contacts).
  • Document all periods of time when staff are not available to provide services.
  • Document all periods when clients are completing activities as requested by clinic staff (e.g., completing their medical history).
  • Document all periods when clients are not available to receive services (e.g., escorting children to their own medical appointments).
  • Document four additional attributes for each client (e.g., the client’s overall satisfaction survey score).
  • Select for screen display or printing one or more of 13 preformatted reports.
  • Tailor the reports using a range of word processing applications (e.g., MS Word) to meet data presentation requirements.
  • Save labels and staff files for future reuse, making data-entry for future WinPFA studies at the same clinic site more efficient.

Data collection forms

WinPFA’s data-collection forms are also known as “registers.” Active study documentation requires completing only the staff and client registers. The registers and the corresponding data-collection manual, available for download below, describe how to design and carry out studies.


Once installed, users may proceed with data entry or assign this task to other staff. The amount of time required to complete data entry varies according to user experience with the software and the volume of study data. With WinPFA, a study consisting of 50 patient registers and 10 staff registers should require no more than 2 hours data-entry time. Users requiring the WinPFA data-entry tutorial may download it below.

Data analysis and beyond

WinPFA analyzes study data and delivers 13 standard reports and a graphical depiction of the session.  For information about Interpretation and Use of the WinPFA Reports, please send an e-mail to

WinPFA’s reports provide—

  • Client appointment compliance (i.e., a calculated “show-rate”).
  • Client timeliness with their appointment time according to how you, the user, define client early and late arrival (i.e., you set the “on-time” interval from 0 to 60 minutes).
  • Clients’ time in clinic and service times broken out by clients’ reason for visit and subclassification (e.g., client age or gender).
  • Calculated session costs, which include both personnel-associated costs as well as non-personnel overhead costs (e.g., rent, utilities).
  • Personnel use in the clinic by task.
  • Documented staff workday including time not available to deliver services (e.g., break-times) and services not delivered in a face-to-face manner (e.g., retrieval of lab results).
  • Number of clients, number of staff available, and number of services delivered broken out according to user-defined time intervals, running from 1 to 1440 minutes (this allows, for example, comparison of the “AM” vs the “PM” or early AM versus late AM portions of the session).
  • Sequenced order of services received by clients displayed for each reason for visit.
  • Sequenced order of services received displayed for each client. See "Client Time-Line" under “Tools.“

Downloads and Instructions

Accessibility note: CDC's Division of Reproductive Health strives to make information available to all users; however, portions of our files including charts, tables, and graphics may be difficult to read using assistive technology. If you cannot open or read these files, please contact us.

System requirements
Windows® 95, 98, ME, NT 4.0, 2000, and XP (untested on Vista®). Due to the size of the WinPFASetup.exe file, we recommend using a high-speed connection to the Internet.

WinPFA 2.2 Software (revision 4/1/2008)

Download WinPFA [EXE - 21.5MB] (compressed); installed, 26MB

Installation procedures: Once you have downloaded (WinPFA) Setup.exe, complete installation by using your Windows® “Run” utility. If you have questions, seek assistance from your IT staff.

Data Entry and Data Collection Manuals


WinPFA ListServ
The ListServ has two purposes, 1) to facilitate communication among PFA and WinPFA users, and 2) to allow more direct co mmunication between CDC and PFA and WinPFA users (e.g., dissemination of new information about WinPFA.). To subscribe, please send an e-mail to

Organizing Work Better Population Reports, 2004; Volume XXXII, Number 1.
Family planning and other health care organizations in developing countries increasingly must do more with the same resources, and sometimes with fewer. Reorganizing work processes offers one common-sense way to help staff members at all levels cope with growing demands.

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