More “same day” treatment in your schedule? YES PLEASE! But a word of caution: adding treatment to your schedule on the same day can cause complications. That’s why we’ve created this four step system for adding those valuable appointments, and doing it without blowing up your schedule.
STEP ONE: SCHEDULING TO MEET YOUR DAILY GOAL
Paying attention to your daily goal can help you determine when and where in your schedule it’s appropriate to schedule same day treatment. if you’re producing $13,000 on a Monday, for example, but only $4,000 the following day, Monday might not be the best day to add treatment. When you pay attention to that goal, you might realize Tuesday holds better opportunities. This will help you keep your schedule balanced and organized, and keep you from falling behind.
STEP TWO: REVIEW SAME DAY TREATMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE HUDDLE
It’s super important to talk about these opportunities in your morning huddle. Do you have emergencies coming in that day? Does everyone know where they’re supposed to be, and the logistics around possibly treating that emergency on the same day? Also, make sure the person taking those calls is doing a thorough job of triaging emergencies. With comprehensive knowledge of the specific complaint, the doctor may be able to recall details of the patients’ past treatment, and better determine whether urgent same day care will be necessary.
STEP THREE: COMMUNICATE TREATMENT WITH YOUR TEAM
If there is a change in schedule, make sure everyone on the team knows about it. Even slight scheduling changes can throw everyone out of the flow. Determine how you best communicate as a team in those situations. Consider:
- Using communication devices worn by team members (walkie talkies)
- The messaging function in your software
- Making the rounds: Simply getting up and informing the team that there’s been a change in the schedule
STEP FOUR: COMMUNICATE SAME DAY TREATMENT EXPECTATIONS WITH PATIENTS
Don’t skip the financial agreement conversation with emergency or same day patients. It’s critical in all situations to be clear about how much treatment is going to cost, and how long it’s going to take. Perhaps the treatment coordinator will visit the operatory to go over the financials, and let the patient know, “You can expect to be here for about 45 minutes.” Remember, the patients’ experience in. your practice is most important to them. Being clear about treatment expectations assures them that you are on top of your game, and that you care!