Work-Ins Add-Ons

William R. Pupkis, CMPE, Healthcare Consultant

work-insDealing with emergencies and working patients into your schedule are a fact of life in a medical practice.  A careful review of your appointments, however, should reveal a pattern for these “work-in” patients.  Most likely, you will find Mondays and days after a holiday or long weekend are the busiest.  If you work in a resort area, the pattern may be seasonal.

Once you have identified these hectic periods, you can begin to plan for the “unpredictable.”  If you usually have three or four work-in or emergency appointments per day, allow time for them.  For example, reserve slots at the end of your morning or afternoon hours for emergencies.  Doing so will allow you to make better use of your time and help reduce stress levels in your office.

In groups with multiple physicians, you might want to try a system of “add-ons” or AOs.  On a rotating basis, each doctor spends a block of time per day seeing all emergency and same-day referral patients.  This system can be particularly helpful for practices that care for high school or college sports teams.  When a trainer calls with an issue, he or she can immediately speak with the AO physician without disrupting the office’s schedule.

As the system grows, the AO schedule can be expanded and/or physicians can be added for peak periods.  Also, your practice can fax or email your AO schedule, with physician contact information, to your referring sources.  In a sense, your practice becomes an urgent care system, but without the need for evening hours.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 at 7:35 pm and is filed under Practice Management. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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