Step One - Create a Patient Schedule Log
A Patient Schedule Log shows when patients called for a visit, how long they had to wait to schedule a visit, and when the first patient visit slot was available. It also reveals problems with the way patient calls are handled, as well as problems in physician scheduling that make it difficult to accommodate patient visits.
A few benchmarks might come in handy to help you interpret your patient log. For instance, a patient should be able to schedule a visit within five to ten minutes of placing the call. If it takes longer, you need to take a closer look at how the reception area is run.
Once on the phone, patients should be able to see a doctor within ten days. If not, the physician's schedule needs to be examined. In addition, the receptionist should document why a patient visit could not be scheduled in a timely manner.
For instance, the schedule log might show that a majority of the patients who had to wait longer than ten days to get an appointment were interested in scheduling evening appointments. In this case, your practice might consider expanding its evening hours.
Step Two - Use a Patient Visit Log
The Patient Visit Log tracks the time a patient spends in the office for a visit. This log breaks down the patient visit into the various stages of the office visit.
This log sheet should be attached to a patient chart so the various healthcare providers can complete their portion of the log sheet as the patient goes through the office.
Record all patient activity for a full week, and then repeat at regular intervals. If, as a result of this process, you change the office visit workflow, repeat the log process two weeks after enacting new policies to make sure the procedures work and patient flow is indeed improved.
Step Three - Analyze the Results
First, sort the patient logs based on the type of patient (new versus established) and type of visit. Next, calculate the total minutes each patient spent in the office and with each provider. This will help you determine how long each patient should expect to spend in the office for each different type of visit. It will also allow you to define how much time is spent waiting.
Next, analyze the waiting time. Look at the total waiting time and the waiting time associated with each provider. Compare total waiting time to the total time the patient spends in the office and with each provider. This will show which provider has the most time-consuming tasks and which providers can see patients more quickly.
This process will not only give you more satisfied patients, it will also increase physician and staff productivity.
For more suggestions on how to improve your patient satisfaction levels and office productivity, call our office. We're here to help you make your practice more rewarding and more profitable.
Home | About Us | Tax Planning | Tax Preparation | Calculators
Financial Planning | Estate & Gift Planning | Investment Review
Financial Statements | Bookkeeping | Links of Interest
Taxes QuikGuide | Tax Tips | Business Tips | Financial Tips
Information Station: wealth-building articles