Staffing Challenges: No one solution

Staffing challenges continue to be the top challenge for medical practices in 2022. While the problem is faced by virtually all industries today, its impacts have been significantly worse in healthcare which has been on the frontlines of the pandemic for the past two years. The MGMA predicts that these challenges will continue through the end of this year. Front office staff at medical practices have been among the hardest hit, which impacts practice’s ability to provide acceptable patient care. Practices continue to increase hiring, offer pay increases and retention bonuses to keep their front [...]

By |2022-03-16T17:48:55+00:00March 16, 2022|Appointments, Medical Practice, Phone System, Scheduling|0 Comments

Best Practices for Patient Appointment Scheduling

Scheduling is at the heart of healthcare. Poor, or even mediocre, scheduling processes can cost a small clinic hundreds of thousands of dollars. Creating and using meaningful appointment types to optimize scheduling for your practice is important for the bottom line and decreasing stress and burnout. This is a challenge for any practice. First and foremost, the scheduling system needs to integrate all facets of care. The goal is to simultaneously optimize patient care, the patient experience, the provider experience, and finances. Anything less than this is unacceptable. The schedule needs to integrate all individuals and [...]

By |2021-08-24T15:42:41+00:00August 23, 2021|Appointments, Medical Practice, Scheduling|0 Comments

Do you know what your Medical Scheduler really does?

Patient Scheduling. Most physicians think is it’s so simple. A patient calls the practice, talks to a scheduler who enters the information into the scheduling application and poof - it’s done. The reality is that medical scheduling is one of the most complicated and stressful positions in a medical practice with one of the highest turnover rates. Here is what really happens during - a day in the life of a scheduler… A dynamic system of many moving parts When a patient calls a clinic for an appointment, the medical scheduler first collects some basic information [...]

By |2021-08-23T14:08:08+00:00August 20, 2021|Appointments, Medical Practice, Scheduling|0 Comments

Voice Assistants in Healthcare

Voice assistants are computer programs that receive audio inputs and respond with audio output in a manner perceived as listening and “answering” questions from a person. A user can ask “What is the weather going to be for today?” and the voice assistant will respond with a weather report for the user’s location for that day. Voice Assistants in Healthcare is a rapidly evolving area that is poised to dramatically change healthcare as we know it today. The use of voice assistant technology from Amazon (Alexa), Apple (Siri), Google (Google Assistant), and Microsoft (Cortana) are becoming mainstream.    According to the 2019 NPR [...]

By |2021-08-22T19:12:00+00:00June 22, 2021|Medical Practice, Scheduling, Voice Assistant|0 Comments

Managing Provider-Initiated Appointment Cancellations

Provider-Initiated Appointment Cancellations arise when the provider will not be available for the encounter. These can occur for many reasons including illness, family obligations, vacation, office closures (for the weather, COVID-19, or the provider being needed elsewhere). Even when planned far in advance these reasons for cancellation can still easily affect the yearly follow-up schedule. Other reasons for a provider-initiated cancellation arise on very short notice, such as tornado warnings or hospital emergencies. Some refer to this as a bumped appointment while others use the more specific term provider cancellations. Regardless of what we call them, cancellations for any reason can create [...]

By |2021-08-22T19:25:30+00:00June 21, 2021|Appointments, Scheduling|0 Comments

Managing Patient No Shows

Managing patient no shows are a big problem, with many clinics facing no-show rates as high as 30%. This has been an even bigger problem during the COVID-19 pandemic. Every missed visit affects the bottom line. Just as important, if not more so, missed appointments don’t affect just the schedule and the revenue—they affect your patient’s health. No-shows and patient-initiated cancellations are both problematic. Cancellations are typically much more common and costly. On a gut-level, no-shows are more annoying. Every no-show costs money with decreased revenue despite continued overhead expenditures. New patients who do not show up not only [...]

By |2021-08-22T19:26:22+00:00June 21, 2021|Appointments, Scheduling|0 Comments

Patient Waitlists

Many patients want an earlier appointment. Many offices have cancellations and no-shows. Often offices use a waitlist to try to solve both problems, but waitlists have their share of problems, especially when not optimized. It is possible to address waitlist problems while enhancing the patient experience, however. Managing patient waitlists is an important part of having a successful practice and patient engagement. Common Patient Waitlist Workflows For health systems, there are two types of patient workflows. First, there is the practice-offered waitlist. Second, there is a patient-requested waitlist. Practice-Offered Waitlists With a practice-offered waitlist, schedulers ask the patients if [...]

By |2021-08-22T19:27:00+00:00June 21, 2021|Appointments, Scheduling|0 Comments

Appointment Reminders

Almost every office and hospital use patient appointment reminders. Some are poor, others mediocre, and some do a relatively good job. In the present climate, we cannot stand for anything less than great. Appointment reminders increase appointment attendance and early cancellation when needed, which opens the slot to be refilled, or at least decreases no-shows in most cases. Although these systems may work, they can be annoying–especially when the reminders do not interact with individual patients in the manner that is best for them. We must respect individual preferences and deliver on lofty expectations from both patients and providers. [...]

By |2021-08-22T19:27:24+00:00June 21, 2021|Appointments, Medical Practice, Scheduling|0 Comments

Phone Tree Best Practices

Virtually every patient satisfaction survey reveals patients’ dissatisfaction with getting through on the phone to their healthcare provider.  Phone trees should be a helpful bridge not an impenetrable wall. Careful planning and utilizing phone tree best practices improve your system and your patient satisfaction. When is the last time you called your office phone tree?  Try it out and be honest with your feelings and assessment of the experience. These issues have been attacked from many different angles – typically with limited success. From human operators whether local or remote, voicemail, polled call answering, rolling queues, and traditional phone trees. The [...]

By |2021-08-22T19:28:22+00:00June 21, 2021|Phone System, Scheduling|0 Comments
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