In addition, many schedulers are also checking patients in or out – which takes them away from the phone and often results in unanswered calls and a backlog of voicemails. This leads to the inevitable game of phone tag with the patients, who get frustrated.
The scheduler often also sends out reminder calls, emails, or cards to make sure patients are fully aware of their appointments. This is critical to avoid no-shows which are a major source of lost revenue for practices.
They also handle cancellations and reschedules which are becoming increasingly common these days. If a patient doesn’t show up, then the scheduler might also make a note that the patient should be billed for the appointment depending on the policy of the practice. If office has a wait list, the scheduler will start calling patients on the wait list trying to fill the empty appointment slot.
In the event schedules start to run behind because of long appointments or technical problems, it is the job of the scheduler to get them back on track, moving appointments and taking other steps if necessary.
Then there are the days where a physician has an emergency and has a to take the day off. The scheduler must then contact each of the physician’s patients for that day to reschedule their appointments, all while doing the “normal” daily job.