How to Schedule Patients to Make Your Day Go Smoothly

"Hi, my name is Tina Del Buono, welcome to our One Minute Management Tip. When I talk to offices across the country, one of the common complaints that I do get is about the schedule. How do we schedule patients so that our day goes smoothly, because we know that our schedule can make or break our days. Not only our days, but our patients’ days if they have to wait a long time to get in to see us. 
 
Well, my tip is make sure that everyone in the practice who answers your phone and schedules an appointment with the patient understands your appointment types and the problems that come into your practice. Then, approximately how long will that patient be there? We know that can vary, but if we have some sort of an idea, for example, if you have a heel pain patient call, someone who calls and says, “You know what, my heel started hurting three days ago and it’s not getting better,” the person scheduling that appointment needs to know that that patient may be in your practice up to an hour if you do x-rays and maybe dispense something to them. Versus that patient who calls and says, “I have a corn on my little toe and it’s really bothering me.” They probably won’t be in your practice as long. 
 
If we don’t understand the problems that we treat and the protocols that the doctor has for those problems, then our schedule can get really messed up. So, make sure that you take the time to educate everyone who comes into the office about appointment times and expected length of those appointments. We kind of have to play that game of “Where’s Waldo?” when we’re looking where the doctor is going to be as we’re placing appointments on our schedule. I hope that this tip helps you and know that we’re always here to help you at Top Practices."