Have regular meeting and present the findings from your optimization investigations to your staff for review and feedback to improve revenue and patient flow. The process can also improve patient satisfaction by reducing wait times.
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Explore This IssueMarch 2012
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Proper scheduling of patients is an important factor for good customer service and patient satisfaction. Using these key improvement techniques will increase efficiency and can help reduce wasted time and money in a practice.
If you need assistance or you have further questions about practice management issues, contact Cindy Gutierrez, MBA, senior specialist of insurance and practice management at email@example.com or (404) 633-3777, ext. 310.
Steps for Implementing Your Scheduling Procedure
Designing Your Template
- Determine the target number of visits per day.
- Establish the preferred time for the first and last appointment of the day.
- Establish a consistent time for lunch in the schedule.
- Determine the amount of time required for new and established patients.
Things to Consider
- Stagger appointment times and leave enough time to allow for registration, etc.
- Make provisions in the schedule for double-bookings, walk-ins, and/or late patients.
- Allocate some time for patients requiring additional time to address the reason for the visit.
Reducing No-Show Rates
- Do not schedule appointments more than six months in advance for established patients and no more than a month in advance for new patients—patients may forget or find another doctor and may not cancel their appointments.
- Place reminder calls at least 24 to 48 business hours in advance of the appointment.
- Track patients who are habitually late or do not show:
- Schedule these patients at the end of the day so they won’t interfere with flow.
- Double-book the slot with an appointment opposite in nature, e.g., new appointment opposite a follow-up appointment.
- Implement a no-show policy and apply a nominal fee, which must be applicable to all patients in the practice.