Tick Tock Tick Tock
Want more patients? How about more patients without a big-budget investment? Can you attract more patients who won’t stress your staff? Want more patients who you can see in the allotted time of your shifts?
You can do this easily by merely making a commitment to being an on-time practitioner.
Perhaps the most common complaint that patients have is the wait to obtain an appointment. And once they have the appointment, they complain of the inordinately long wait to see the practitioner.
It’s time to be on-time…
You are already being judged by patient satisfaction, even if you are not aware.
Also, not in the too distant future, Health funds are going to survey their members, your patients. Practitioner compensation will be adjusted by the satisfaction patients have when they interact with our practices.
Can you imagine the response of a patient who had to wait:
- days to obtain an appointment,
- an hour in the reception area just to see the assistant,
- another hour to see the practitioner who spends less than five minutes with the patient,
- two more weeks to obtain test results and/or an imaging results,
- another two weeks to review the results with the patient, and, finally
- several more weeks to of actual treatment for the initial complaint?
I can assure you that the patient satisfaction scores will plummet and & maybe in the future so will your compensation/health rebate.
A practitioner can develop an on-time philosophy by making a commitment to get organised well before the shift starts. Don’t waste this time by checking your emails or looking at the stock market. This is the time to have a brief meeting with the staff. Ensure that all the reports are already in patient’s files, that patients with special needs are taken care of, and any urgent or emergency calls are made before seeing patients.
The staff knows that the practitioner is on time and will be putting patients in the room before scheduled time so that the practitioner and patients are on time.
Next, I suggest that every practice reserve a 15-20-minute open slot every morning and every afternoon. These are for any urgencies, emergencies or even new patients that must be seen on the same day. This slot cannot be given to any other patient but is held in reserve for those last minute situations that are common in most practices.
I have used this policy of creating “sacred time” for many years and there is seldom a day that goes by that the two slots aren’t filled. But the best impact is that patients with appointments at designated times are not delayed because someone has been told, “Just come on in and we will work you into the schedule.”
Make every effort to be on time. You can build a reputation for being an on-time practitioner and patients will select your practice because you have respected their time and have demonstrated that their time is just as valuable as yours.