There’s nothing more vexing than to lose control of the day’s patient schedule. Successful scheduling requires a concentrated effort to identify problems, create solutions and monitor daily processes. Everything in the office must focus on this critical need: increasing patient flow so the doctor(s) will be both efficient and effective. Richard Haines Jr., a medical design consultant, put it this way, “Your survival depends on maximizing patient flow. The biggest current issue in medicine continues to be managing volumes well.”
This doesn’t mean simply herding patients through an uncaring medical mill. Instead, good systems improve the physician’s ability to spend quality time with each patient—and less time in areas that don’t need his or her time and effort. Patients feel pleased to get uninterrupted quality time and attention from their physicians, while more efficient doctors are more energized by their work.