Did you know that scheduling patients well is one of the best things you can do to run an efficient practice?
Many practices have figured out the importance of patient scheduling. By learning how to schedule their patients effectively, these practitioners can look forward to a streamlined schedule, happier patients, and a boost in revenues.
So what are some ways in which practitioners can find the right balance with their scheduling efforts? We’ve highlighted some great tactics you can implement to boost your revenues and run a truly efficient organization that keeps everybody happy.
Keep reading to learn more!
Balancing Productivity with Quality Patient Care
When scheduling patients, medical practices should balance their desire for increased productivity and revenues with a satisfying and quality experience for patients.
For example, you don’t want to pack your schedule so much that patients have to wait a long time to see their care provider. Additionally, patients should be able to schedule appointments when they need to instead of only when available.
Another big problem patients face is how far in advance they have to schedule their medical appointments.
Most of the time, patients have to book visits weeks in advance or go to an urgent care facility if they need care quickly.
Make Sure Patients Can Self-Schedule
These days, it’s very easy to provide your patient population with the ability to schedule their own appointments. Online scheduling software is readily available and doesn’t cost a lot of money, even for smaller practices.
When patients schedule appointments on their own, it frees up valuable time for your staff to focus on tasks that improve the patient experience. What’s even better is that a big chunk of your patient base actually prefers to self-schedule their visit.
Doing so can also make it easier for these patients to find earlier appointment times that may be open due to recent cancellations.
Focus Scheduling On the Noon Method
Sometimes patients will call in and ask to schedule appointments with your staff.
In this situation, it’s ideal to have a back-to-back schedule so appointments flow from one to the next. A great way to achieve this is by scheduling visits from mid-day forward or backward.
For example, morning appointments would be filled in by going backward from noon and afternoon visits by moving forward from noon. This method is a great way to reduce blank spots in your patient schedule.
When empty slots do appear, your team can use them for meetings or opportunities to catch up on other work tasks.
Use Text Messages & Emails to Confirm Visits
Automated reminders are an excellent asset for any practice looking to cut down on no-shows, boost appointment confirmations, and clarify their scheduling process.
It’s important that your patient base can respond to these reminds. Try using two-way email reminders to allow patients to easily reply to reminders.
Some reminders also allow patients to cancel or reschedule by responding appropriately to the reminder. Make sure to include information about cancellation fees if your practice implements this feature in automated reminders.
Find Opportunities Through Data
Thankfully, medical practices these days don’t have to guess at what is working and what isn’t when it comes to scheduling patients.
Using operational data to identify areas of improvement and successful trends can be an incredible way to build on scheduling strategies for the future.
Here at Savi Group, our Savi Sense analytics platform allows practitioners to do exactly that. They can dig deep into specific areas and find out if there are any problems stopping their efforts from running smoothly.
Easy to read charts break down exactly what’s going on in their practice and point out key insights that can help boost revenues and efficiencies moving forward.
In conclusion, there are many excellent ways in which medical practices can improve their patient scheduling efforts. Doing so can help improve patient experiences, overall revenues, and operational efficiencies. By implementing the steps above, your practice will be well on its way to improving patient scheduling.