Some advice on patient walk-ins

Question: I need some advice regarding the handling of walk-ins.  We are a big pediatric office with 6 providers, and during the winter months we see anywhere from 300-350 a day.  Then we always have the walk-ins, and we don't want to turn them away because if the child is really sick and ends up in the hospital or heaven forbid dies we don't want that on our conscience.  My senior Pediatrician is thinking about having certain hours during the day that we will accept walk-ins only, my only concern, is that there won't be enough walk-ins for the hours that she is thinking i.e. early in the morning and late in the afternoon but there is enough that come in all throughout the day that they keep my Pediatricians behind schedule.  Any advice would be appreciated.

Thoughts: If you are going to allow walk-ins, try having it in the morning. I have a client that has walk in hour every morning at 2 of our locations (room for 6 providers at each location). They have been doing this for about 7 years. They obviously had the same concerns when considering it. However it has been very successful and our patients love it. It does take some adjusting of the morning schedules summer and winter.  If you find that you have more open slots during the day adjust the templates to accommodate more wells visits or rechecks. While allowing morning walk-ins, at some point try adding walk-ins at the end of the day.

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