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Nine Scheduling Techniques to Improve Patient Work Flow

Nine Scheduling Techniques to Improve Patient Work Flow

  • Expand the appointment schedule by shortening the lunch break by 30 minutes to see two or three additional patients each day. Caption: ©Photographee.eu/Shutterstock.com
  • Consider adding a scribe to document the visit notes for the provider. Caption: ©wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com
  • Review charts the day before and make sure diagnostic tests have been completed and reports are on file for each patient. Caption: ©Blend Images / Shutterstock.com
  • Based on historical data, create more flexible appointment time-slots, rather than only having 15-minute or 30-minute appointments. Caption: ©alekseiveprev/Shutterstock.com
  • Automate patient check-in. Caption: ©d13/Shutterstock.com
  • Ask patients to jot down their clinical questions before they are roomed, and have the nurse review them to prepare for the visit. Caption: ©John Smith Design/Shutterstock.com
  • Reduce the time necessary to weigh patients by having a scale in each room. Caption: ©wavebrekmedia/Shutterstock.com
  • Delegate tasks that do not require the physician's expertise by training staff to assume more responsibilities. Caption: ©Bloomua/Shutterstock.com
  • Add a part-time provider during peak hours to improve access, service, and efficiency. Caption: ©racorn /Shutterstock.com

Today there are tools to help practices better understand specific scheduling and patient-flow problems. Most electronic scheduling systems have reporting capabilities to accurately track patients through the practice.

Start by looking at your scheduling patterns to determine:

• The time each patient was in the office, compared to the length of the appointment.

• How many patients were booked within the last 24 hours before their visit?

• How many of those patients were double-booked?

• Where you fell behind schedule (and why).

Here are nine ways you can effectively meet your practice's scheduling demands.

To view the slides in PDF format, click here.

*For additional tips on effective scheduling read: To Improve Practice Work Flow, Tackle Patient Scheduling

Physicians Practice


sounds like something written by Aetna

aetna please go away.

Leland @

Was the intent of this article to improve OR increase patient work flow?

James @

Was the intent of this article to improve OR increase patient work flow?

James @

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