How to guard against scheduling too far in advance.
Many practices offer patients checking out from office visits the opportunity to schedule subsequent appointments up to 12 months in advance. While “check out” is the most convenient time for both staff and patients to schedule regular or annual appointments, doing so can have unintended consequences. No-shows, cancellations, and bumps are more common when scheduling too far in advance:
If your practice is affected by the challenges described above, reevaluate your typical “scheduling out” period. You may find that you run into no-shows, cancellations, and bumps if you schedule patients just more than three months out. Ultimately, determining your practice’s ideal scheduling out period depends most upon the specific patient population you serve.
Elizabeth Woodcock, MBA, CPC, is a professional speaker and consultant specializing in practice management. Elizabeth is a fellow in the American College of Medical Practice Executives and a certified professional coder. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or via email@example.com.
Learn more about Elizabeth at www.elizabethwoodcock.com.
This article originally appeared in the October 2006 issue of Physicians Practice.