January 27, 2022

Time Management Tips for a Busy Medical Practice

Running behind schedule in a medical practice is a common phenomenon experienced by even the most well-organized doctors. When such situations happen, the practice should be prepared to handle them with a well-orchestrated protocol.

It happens for several reasons - last-minute appointments, overbooking, unexpected stretching of a patient's visit, emergency phone calls, etc. Except for handling emergencies, most of these reasons can be eliminated by planning and adjusting the schedule based on historical data. Factors that determine slot durations include - the type of visit, physician on schedule, day of the week, time of the year, staff availability, cancellation rate, etc.,

When the inevitable delay happens, several steps can be taken to manage the situation:

  • To avoid cascading delays, try rescheduling a few patients in the schedule.
  • Communicate the delay to affected patients, requesting their co-operation or possible rescheduling. Consider texting to update these delays to patients.
  • Offer small gestures to ease the situation - like coupons to a nearby coffee shop.

These situations can result in positive or negative perceptions of your practice - it depends on how well you are prepared to handle them.

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