How To Schedule Patient Efficiently On Your Pain Management EHR

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Why is it Important to Schedule Patients Efficiently?

Scheduling patients correctly is one of the most tedious administrative tasks in any and every practice thereof. It is the only way to avoid bottlenecks, frustrations, and angry patients waiting for a long time in your reception room. What works for a primary care specialty may not work for a pain management clinic. You need to thoroughly understand what’s working and what’s not to figure out how you should fix or improve it. 

Problems in patient appointment schedules are a practice-wide issue. The scheduling system affects the workflow and productivity of the practice as a whole, not just the front desk staff or the physician. It would be best to dedicate some of your time to find the root cause of your scheduling problems. However, no one has spare time working in healthcare. Finding a plausible solution that will eliminate the domino effect of scheduling problems affects all aspects of your practice. Here are four ways on how you can find the right scheduling technique for your practice:

How to Target the Root Cause of Patient Scheduling

  • Identify scheduling trends using data-gathering tools.

    Use tools to help you analyze and determine scheduling patterns and patient-flow related problems. Use your system’s reporting capabilities by tracking appointment times, arrival times, time to be roomed, consultation time with the physician, and end of a patient’s visit.

  • Set a baseline

    Set a standard before you begin your analysis. Consider that you are already behind schedule if there is a 15 minutes delay between a patient’s scheduled appointment time, the patient’s arrival time, and the physician. Consider waiting time as a major factor in a practice’s workflow since they take up space and time on the staff’s work. Analyze effectively with the following:

    • Compare the total length of time patient visits to the expected appointment length.
    • Number of booked patients last 24 hours before their patient’s visit?
    • Number of double-booked patients
    • Behind schedules and reasons why
  • Try to adjust the schedule according to work-flow jams.

    Some patients may need extra time with the doctor due to diagnostic studies and explanations, but the appointment time doesn’t cater to that. Other doctors and providers may also need more time sometimes than others to complete e-visit documentations, or they can’t start on time according to schedule. It is important to spot on work-flow jams and determine its causes. You may want to look again at your appointment time window and adjust to it by your doctors’ or providers’ needs. Determine scheduled templates for patients with multiple chronic conditions or care issues that may take longer than others. Tailor-fit your time and workflow protocols according to your needs, and your scheduling solutions may follow then. It will enable everyone to stay on track by delegating more tasks accordingly, including patient instructions for taking medications or post-visit care. 

    Always remember to work as a team, conduct a staff-provider workshop, and consult experts before making any major changes to your scheduling system to find the best scheduling solutions for your practice. 

5 Best Techniques for Scheduling Patients

  • Schedule appointments consecutively.

    Scheduling appointments consecutively reduces overhead costs, especially on days with lighter appointment loads where your staff can come in late or go home early. It also reduces the number of empty appointment slots for the day. The consecutive scheduling can also allow them to catch up with documentation, hold team meetings, or complete other administrative tasks. 

  • Remind your patients with their appointments.

    Set up an appointment reminder process in your practice. It can be through your staff or you can get an automatic reminder system too. It helps in minimizing the number of no-shows by texting or calling patients before their appointment. Give them a window of opportunity to cancel or reschedule through your reminder system. However, inform them of your practice’s cancellation policy.

  • Fill late cancellations and no-shows with a patient waiting list. 

    You can’t avoid late cancellations and no-shows due to unforeseen circumstances. However, you can mitigate their negative

    effects by using a patient waiting list for an earlier appointment. You can send a mass text to your list to eliminate the need to call patients one-by-one. Patients on the list will greatly appreciate your update, too.

  • Utilize telemedicine to prioritize those who need inpatient care.

    A televisit can immediately and safely attend to the health concerns of some patients. You can also put up a patient portal so they can easily access their medical documents and send secure messages to you. It increases patient satisfaction due to the quick response and convenience. Inpatient appointments will be for your patients who need a personal examination of the physician or those who need to take diagnostic tests. It will fill your schedule with more revenue-producing appointments and save a lot of time for your in-house staff.

  • Get an Appointment Booking System. 

    Empower your patients by letting them schedule their appointments online via user-friendly apps or patient portal. It significantly increases patient satisfaction and reduces the workload of your administrative staff.

What’s the Best Patient Scheduling System

Choose the leading EMR and EHR Appointment Booking System from the trusted name in healthcare — 1st Providers Choice. Our Appointment Booking System will allow your patients to book their consultation appointments online anytime and anywhere, as it automatically syncs with your existing calendar. You can call us at (480) 782-1116 for immediate assistance, or you can schedule a free demo with our experts TODAY.