It has been said that appointment scheduling is at the heart of the medical practice. What does this mean, and why is appointment scheduling so important?
Appointment scheduling is vital in the medical practice in that it helps ensure that patients’ needs and welfare are undertaken in a well-planned manner. It entails recording follow-ups, sending reminders, creating new appointments, and ensuring that there is a successful clinical workflow. The importance of appointment scheduling is that it first helps increase staff members’ productivity by eliminating wasted time when there was no schedule. It is also vital in that it helps decrease Front Office Distractions and ensures that quality health care is offered to the patients.
2) Why is it important to reserve a few appointments a day for emergencies? When is the best time to keep these appointments open? What days of the week usually require more open appointments? What should be done with the patients in the waiting room if an emergency occurs?
It is always vital for a few reservations for emergencies since there is a high probability that an emergency would likely occur in a hospital setting. The best time to have such appointments is in the evening when fewer appointments; hence, most patients will not be affected. More open appointments need to be during the weekends when there are no many patients in line and when the doctor has ample time to take care of such appointments. If an emergency occurs, the patients in the waiting room should be made aware of the incident and assured that they would be attended to once the emergency is dealt with. This will help them stay in the know on the likely delay in their appointments for the sale of attending to an emergency case which cannot be ignored.
3) Shirley is a new medical assistant in the office where you work. She does not understand the matrix for making appointments. On her second day at work, she is on her own to make appointments because the person who usually makes appointments is out with a sick child. Shirley makes two appointments in each slot as she did in her previous place of employment instead of the one that should have been made using the matrix. How will this affect the patients who are being seen for the next few days? What will this mistake do to public relations in the office?
The poor scheduling by Shirley may have adverse effects on the patients. This is since it will lead to double-booking patients and create a mess for the patients who show up for their schedules. This is likely to cause conflicts or confusion at the hospital and lead to more delays. Consequently, such an action will negatively impact the public relations and brand image of the hospital and lead to a drop in the number of patients who visit the facility.