6 Ways to Schedule Patients Efficiently at Hospitals
If you are responsible for scheduling people’s appointments, then it becomes your topmost priority to make sure that little to no appointments are missed and all the patients who were scheduled to meet the doctor, can meet him at the stipulated time. But at times circumstances do not favor a smooth operation of appointments- some patients might be a bit late for their appointment, some may need immediate attention, there could be certain unexpected events that can make your entire appointment schedule go topsy turvy. When the appointment schedule goes haphazard or the visitor management software does not function properly, it can become very frustrating both for the patients as well as the staff.
Scheduling patients might not sound like a big job, but it’s not a simple process. You need to be very efficient and make sure that your scheduling is almost perfect so that the patients get maximum satisfaction. Your visitor management system should be so good that all patients get their due share of attention and care from the doctor. At the same time, efficient scheduling ensures profitable business on your side as well
Although many places have started utilizing digital reception facilities, it cannot completely replace human effort. Therefore it becomes very important to have a good visitor management skill-set. That will help you to deal with your patients even more effectively and schedule appointments with more efficiency.
Given below are 6 different ways that you can utilize to effectively and efficiently schedule your patients:
1. Start Scheduling from Noon
While scheduling all your appointments, try to catalog the morning ones with a backward approach, starting from the afternoon. While scheduling the afternoon and evening ones, try cataloging them forwards from noon. This method of scheduling will prove to be very effective as this will ensure maximum productivity at all times. Following this method, you’ll see that the bulk of your day has been properly scheduled. Empty slots in your schedule can lead to unproductivity. So if some of your morning slots are not filled, you can easily utilize it by holding your staff meetings. This reduces wastage of time.
2. Allow Self-Scheduling of Patients
Sometimes it is better to allow the patient to self-schedule their appointments via phone calls. This will allow the patient to schedule his appointment, according to his own convenience. Nowadays online appointments via apps or software can also be easily made. This saves time and ensures that the patient is at ease. This also implies that there won’t be any last moment cancellations.
3. Prioritizing the Appointments
A patient’s visit may vary according to the time or the care needed by them. While scheduling patients you need to keep this in mind. Some patients need to be put on the top of the list while some don’t need to be on the list at all. Sometimes a patient’s query can be solved via call, instead of an appointment. Therefore you need to evaluate every case that is presented and schedule them accordingly. This particular approach ensures that patients who need the most amount of care, are given top priority.
4. Use Emails or Texts to Confirm Appointments
You can text patients or send them emails regarding their appointments. Making use of an appointment-reminder software will prove to be quite useful in this case. This ensures that appointments happen on time and there are no last-minute cancellations.
5. Creating a Waiting list for Your Patients
Sometimes a patient might cancel his appointment, the very last-minute and these types of cancellations are very hard to make up for. But if you have a waiting-list ready for all your scheduled patients then you won’t be in a fix, when something unfortunate like this occurs. You can make use of patient-scheduling software. This is more handy and reliable and allows you to notify all your other patients about a sudden open slot. Therefore as soon as a patient cancels, you can use the waiting list and add another patient in that place.
6. Making use of Automatic Patient Recall
It is extremely useful if you use an automatic patient recalling system to schedule their regular appointments after a given period. This ensures that every patient gets their attention and care. If there are patients who have missed their regular scheduled appointments, this automatic system will send them the necessary reminder to attend their check-up.
By utilizing these aforementioned ways, you can improve your scheduling capability. Perfection takes time, so if you practice these methods, in no time will you be able to work most profitably and efficiently.