There are many types of scheduling so sometimes it is hard to know where to begin. The first places to look are to your patients, your practice, and the surrounding community’s needs. Consider the two following types of scheduling:
- Open access model. In the open access model, patients are seen within 24 hours for urgent needs, within seven days for routine care, and within 28 days for well visits. This is an extremely efficient method. It succeeds in tandem with a well-designed telephone system that enables patient access and a robust front-desk that resolves care on the first call.
- The wave system. The wave system allows appointments to follow a steady, repetitive patient flow within a period of time throughout the day. For example, each hour contains one physicial exam, one follow up, and one urgent appointment. Make sure you take into account everyday logistics such as walk-in patients, lab courier timing, other departmental requirements, and of course, flu season.