A structured scheduling process not only improves patient satisfaction, it can enhance the efficiency of your practice operations too. While your appointment schedule can change due to no-shows and cancellations, the flow of your operations doesn’t have to get disrupted because of it.
Tips for improving appointment scheduling
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- If patients are advised to schedule a follow-up visit in six weeks, your schedule should have availability within a reasonable timeframe of the patient's needs. It's inefficient for staff to seek out the physician and ask, or to have the patient call at a later time.
- Simplify your scheduling model. If using the “multiple approach” model, limit appointment types preferably to three categories: short (usually established patients), long (new and complex established patients), and procedures.
- Treat your schedulers well. They are your most valuable scheduling resource!
- Leave open appointments in the daily schedule to be handled by an APN or PA, if applicable.
- Avoid scheduling follow-up visits on Mondays due to increased demands for acute visits after the weekend.