Preparing the Appointment Schedule Appointment books versus computerized scheduling A well-managed Unexpected appointment book events that occur • Creates an efficient • Early and late arrivals • No-show patients patient flow • Emergencies • Shows respect for • Physicians spend everyone’s time by extra time with preventing excessive patients wait time
Establishing a matrix Preparing the appointment book Create the matrix, or basic format Block off times the doctor is unavailable Examples of when time should be blocked off Hospital rounds Surgery Vacation and holidays Scheduled meetings
Methods of Scheduling Clustering Streaming Double-booking Wave Walk in/open hours Modified wave Single-booking
Apply Your Knowledge A large pediatrician office commonly must “squeeze in” patients in that have become ill, so this new office plans to offer immunizations only twice per week. Which scheduling system(s) would you recommend for this medical practice?ANSWER: Combination scheduling consisting of cluster anda form of wave scheduling would be recommended to allowfor the needed flexibility.
Appointment Documentation Schedules are legal documents Important to enter information correctly Follow office procedure for cancelling appointments Can be useful to document a history of no- show or cancellation
Creating New Appointments Required information Correctly spelled name Next available appointment or time requested Date and time understood by patient Amount of time to be reserved Preference for time of day Alternate time
Creating New Appointments Telephone Patient’s full appointments name Obtain all Home and work necessary information before telephone patient hangs up numbers Read back Purpose of the information to visit verify
Creating New AppointmentsFollow-up appointments Appointment cards
Creating New Appointments Referral appointments Often referred for diagnostic testing, or to see a specialist Inpatient admissions Be prepared to provide necessary information
The Appointment Book:Determining Standard Procedure Times Complete Physical Exam 30-60 min Minor in office Surgery 30 min Emergency office visit 15-20 min New Patient Visit 30 min or > Suture Removal 10-20 min Prenatal Examination 15 min Follow up Office visit 5-10 min Pam Smear and Pelvic 15-30 min Consultation 15-30 min Minor Illness 10-15 min Blood Pressure or Weight 10 min Check
Maintaining the Schedule Walk-in or chronically late patients Missed or cancelled appointments Business appointments
Maintaining the Physician’sSchedule (cont.) Overbooking Scheduling too many patients Office schedule falls behind Stressful for staff Underbooking Gaps in schedule Try to schedule another appointment in cancelled time slot
Maintaining the Physician’sSchedule (cont.) Emergencies or delays Apologize to waiting patients Offer choice Estimated waiting time Leave to run errands and return at agreed-upon time Reschedule appointment for another day
Special Scheduling Situations: Patient Emergencies Seen immediately upon arrival at the office Explain to waiting patients without details Provide opportunity to reschedule Referrals Referred patients should be seen as soon as possible When arranging referrals for a patient Provide choices Be sure the facility accepts the patient’s insurance Document in patient record
Special Scheduling Situations: Patient (cont.) Fasting patients Fast Refrain from eating or drinking Usually beginning the night before the appointment Schedule as early as possible Instruct patient about the need to fast and when to start
Special Scheduling Situations: Patient (cont.) Patients with diabetes Require regular meals and snacks to regulate blood glucose Consider avoiding late morning slots that are close to lunchtime Keep appropriate snacks on hand in the event a patient develops a low blood sugar
Special Scheduling Situations: Physician Physicians may throw the schedule off by Arriving late to the office Returning late from lunch or meetings Being called away for emergencies Being delayed at the hospitalIf a physician is late repeatedly, you may want toadd some buffer time to the schedule and slotpatients accordingly.
Apply Your Knowledge Mr. Washington needs a follow-up appointment in a week for a fasting blood sugar after the physician changed his medicine for diabetes. How should you handle this appointment?ANSWER: The appointment should be made for the first orsecond appointment for that day. Mr. Washington should bereminded he should not eat or drink after midnight, and thathe should not take his diabetes medicine prior to theappointment but should bring it with him.
Greeting Patients “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” Smile Use active listening skills Make eye contact Provide clear and complete explanations Maintain confidentiality
New Patient Information Complete, correctly Health insurance spelled name information Date of birth Guarantor Social security Employer information number Driver’s license Marital status Referral information Current address Telephone numbers
Explaining Office Policies Use good communication techniques Patients may be unsure about new and unfamiliar experiences Helps ease fears Maintains good rapport with patients Clarifies office policies Encourages patient compliance
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