During medical office hours, an empty medical exam room or a physician left without a patient to see represents lost revenue. Think about patient flow as a restaurant would: An empty seat represents lost money never to be recaptured.
Preventing such holes can be well worth the cost. Your practice may benefit from the same concept by having a “floor manager” or “maitre d’”—one staff member who oversees all staff as they process patients during office hours. The desired result is having as much “product” as possible (in your case, appointed patients) flow smoothly through the practice.
A floor manager is an on-site operating officer who manages patient visits for optimal customer service and maximum group productivity. Generally, an office needs one floor manager for approximately each seven physicians, though the ratio will vary by specialty, facility size and patient volume. If you have fewer than seven doctors, consider carving the function out of a full-timer’s job just for the office’s busiest hours.