Scheduling: Why it’s good to track and trend

Patients often complain about the length of time it takes for a physician to see them and the process involved in making appointments. To minimize this dissatisfaction, examine your scheduling process and your practice’s needs. Collect data on the number of patients you can see each day, your facility’s office hours, and the physicians’ daily availability to see patients.

Track and trend this data to create a realistic policy that is unique to your practice and that satisfies patient scheduling needs, while also considering any limitations of the practice.

The policy should include protocols for:

  1. handling high risk symptoms and patients
  2. scheduling new patients
  3. documenting properly

Areas of risk include cancellations and no-shows, which can be used against a physician in a lawsuit if proper documentation and follow-up does not occur.

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