Keep Your Medical Practice Schedule on Time with These Tips

November 30, 2022 by Antonio Arias, MBA, CHBME

Topics: Revenue Cycle Management, Practice Management

Let’s reflect for a moment: when’s the last time you saw your last patient of the day at their scheduled time?

If it takes a minute to jog your memory, that’s a bad sign. Seeing your patients on time should be the exception, not the rule–but how can you keep your medical practice schedule on time? In today’s world full of technology, distractions, and endless to-do lists, it’s challenging to stay on track with the day’s scheduled appointments.

In this article, we’ll discuss the importance of keeping your medical practice schedule on time and our tips for making that dream a reality.

Keep reading to learn more!

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The Importance of Keeping Your Medical Practice Schedule on Time

There are several reasons for why it’s vital that your medical practice manages its time effectively and sees patients when they’re scheduled; these reasons include the following:

Boost Patient Satisfaction

Your patients schedule an appointment with your practice for a time that is convenient to them and open for you–not three hours later. Your patient satisfaction is dependent upon your patients feeling respected and valued, which means respecting their time. If you find that your patient satisfaction scores are low and your wait times are high, then it might be a good idea to dig deeper into that.

Keep a Cost-Effective Practice

If you’re constantly seeing your last patients long after their original appointment time, then that means you’re paying your staff overtime for staying late. That adds up over time and can result in hefty overtime payouts and a more expensive utility bill!

Help Reduce Physician Burnout

Establishing and maintaining a good work-life balance is essential for reducing physician burnout. Part of that entails accounting for personal time outside of the office to relax and recharge. When this personal time is cut into because medical practice appointments run late and you find yourself staying late, it incurs a cost on your mental health and wellbeing.

Optimize Your Scheduling

When your medical practice’s schedule runs on time and you’re not triple-booking appointment slots, your overall operations are vastly improved and optimized! With an efficient schedule, you can truly evaluate how your practice is running, what could be improved, and how you can maximize your productivity during your established hours.

Keep your medical practice schedule on track with these tips

Top Tips for Seeing Patients on Time

Ready to keep your schedule in check? Try out these top tips:

You Probably Don’t Need 15 Minutes with Every Patient

This tip can go one of two ways: either you’re scheduling appointments that you know will only take 5 minutes, yet you schedule them for 15-minute slots or you know that certain appointments will take 20 minutes but you’re optimistic and schedule them for a 15-minute slot.

In both cases, you could improve your approach by giving more accurate time allotments when scheduling your appointments. In the event that you’re not sure how long an appointment will take you, book it for the end of the day. That way, you know they’ll be the last patient of the day and you won’t be backing up the other appointments.

Stay On Track When Face-to-Face with Patients

Building rapport with your patients is always a good idea because it can increase patient loyalty and engagement; however, know your limits. If you end up talking about your favorite movies for 10 minutes, then that limits what you can accomplish within that appointment slot and spills over into the rest of the day.

Designate Time to Respond to Emails, Attend to Paperwork, Etc.

One of the easiest ways to suck up your time is to open your email inbox, which is almost certainly a black hole of emails. Instead of trying to answer emails or fill out paperwork between–or even during–appointments, set aside time on the calendar to do these tasks. If you absolutely need to reply to an email or return a phone call, try to set a timer so that you don’t get absorbed in the task. Staying focused on seeing patients during your set times will help you stay organized and on track!

Want More Time Back in Your Day? Let NCG Medical Handle Your Medical Billing Burden!

The medical billing process is a core component of your overall healthcare revenue cycle, however it can be one of the most frustrating and confusing parts of your medical practice. From rejected claims to new regulations that impact your practice, the medical billing process can take up significant parts of your time.

Wish you could have that time back to focus more on your patients? Partner with NCG Medical to handle your medical billing burden! Our team of friendly experts has decades of experience, and your success is our success. Let’s get started today!

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