4 Hidden Bottlenecks in Your Practice: How to Banish Them

Leigh Page

Disclosures

July 17, 2018

In This Article

Challenges in Scheduling Patients

1. Uneven Appointment Schedule

The bottleneck: You can't keep up with your patient schedule because you have too many same-day appointments, no-shows, and patients with long lists of complaints that would take much longer than the allotted patient visit slot.

Solutions

Use tactics to reduce no-shows. When practices expect many patients to fail to show up, they tend to double-book and overbook appointments, which then cause bottlenecks. In a 2017 Medscape survey, 24% of practices said no-shows made up 11%-20% of all patients.[1]

To reduce no-shows, Linda Girgis, MD, a family physician in South River, New Jersey, recommends calling all patients the day before the appointment to remind them. Other physicians use texting or emailing, if they have gathered the patients' online addresses.

Late arrivals can also be a problem, Girgis says. In her practice, if patients arrive late three times, they are told they must reschedule the appointment.

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