Archive for the ‘scheduling’ Category

Same Day Medical Appointment-Just What the Patient Ordered

June 20, 2014

No one knows for certain what the future holds for American Medicine. What we do know is that reimbursements are going to decrease in the near future. We are challenged to find ways to increase the volume of patients we see in our practices. An even greater way to maintain our incomes is to increase the volume of patients seen but also to increase the income per patient that is seen in our offices. On of the best ways to accomplish both goals is to see more new patients. We all know that seeing a patient in the 90-day global period is not as productive as seeing a new patient who is likely to need a work up, evaluation, and perhaps a surgical procedure. Remember there is no income generated by suture removal! After reading this article you will understand the concept of same day appointments and how to consider implementing this in your practice.

Why are same day appointments important?
SDA is what our patients want. Every patient with menometrorrhagia experiences anxiety about her condition and wants to be seen as soon as possible. Most patients do not wish to wait weeks or months for an appointment regardless of the fame and reputation of the doctor. That medical doctors are in a service industry and it behooves us to cater to our patients needs. If we are honest with ourselves, doctors who have long waiting times from weeks to months to see a new patient are merely stoking their egos.

However, this philosophy and this practice of making patients wait to receive an appointment will not enhance patient satisfaction nor improve a practice’s performance. Patient satisfaction is vital in order to build and maintain a successful practice. You can be the most talented robotic surgeon and have a reputation for doing a laparoscopic hysterectomy in less than one hour with no blood loss, and less than 24 hours hospital stay, but if your patients are not satisfied with your care before and after their surgery you may find large gaps and openings in your schedule and a decrease in the number of surgical procedures you perform.

I see up to 35-40 patients/day, which may include 6-8 new patients! How do I do it? I suggest having a sufficient number of the right staffers with the right attitudes while providing them with the appropriate tools to do their job and accomplish their goals. I am solo practitioner and have 6 FTE employees. This is nearly twice the national average of 3 FTE/provider. However, a robust staff allows me to accommodate SDA in addition to seeing follow-up appointments and performing office procedure. I have motivated my employees to know that accommodating SDA is expected and I am willing to provide them with adequate staff and tools to see the extra patients. My ability to accommodate SDA is assisted by having a highly integrated practice management and electronic medical records system, which I fully exploit, makes my practice truly chartless.

Being able to offer SDA requires the proper attitude, which includes a positive, can-do spirit by the doctor. It starts at the top, i.e., with the doctor. It begins with the doctor arriving and ready to see patients on time. If the patients are to be seen at 9:00, that means patients are placed in the room and the doctor is ready to begin seeing patients at 9:00 and not 9:15 or later. If the doctor is late, you can be sure that the day will contain significant delays and the ability to accommodate SDA will not be possible.

I recommend that physicians leverage technology whenever possible to optimize your workflow. Using his electronic medical records system, he is able to see in real-time which patient has arrived, who has been roomed, and if the patients are running on time. He can see this information anywhere in the office by using his tablet computer. He can better “pace” himself when such information is available.

I suggest that you qualify patients when they call for a new appointment by making certain payer information and appropriate authorizations have been obtained, and that patients know in advance what the estimated cost and co-pay will be and that the fee is going to be collected prior to the visit. This requires a well-coordinated effort by the
front desk and the billing office, as well as having the necessary electronic and web-based resources to accomplish this complex task.

Physicians should not assume the liability of providing care without being compensated. It is a good idea for the demographic information and health questionnaire be completed before patients arrive in the office so as not to delay their visit. The patients are also informed to be on time as they will be seen within a few minutes of their arrival. Before
the patient is placed in the exam room, all the reports, supplies, and equipment needed to see the patient is in the room or already available in the electronic health record/chart.
It is a good idea to anticipate how many additional slots he will need by leaving openings to accommodate new patients. This takes minimal analysis of patient appointment demand patterns. For example, leaving additional slots on Monday afternoons as a few patients seen in the ER will likely be calling Monday morning for follow up appointments.

In the next blog I will describe how to accomplish same day appointments and how you can be the darling of your patients.

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New Orleans Urologist Now Offering Same and Next-Day Appointments

December 12, 2010

Nationally recognized urologist, Dr. Neil Baum, is now offering same and next-day appointments to accommodate the needs and schedules of his patients.

NEW ORLEANS, LA— Dr. Neil Baum, a well-known urologist in New Orleans, is pleased to announce that his practice is now offering same and next-day appointments. Whether patients are coming in for a routine visit or have health concerns that require immediate attention, Dr. Baum is providing same and next-day attention that is convenient for his patients’ schedules.

“A patient’s care should never be put on hold because they can’t get in to see the doctor.  Our practice makes it as easy as possible to get the care you need, when you need it. Simply call or email requesting a same-day or next-day appointment, and we’ll work around your schedule to bring you urological care at your convenience, “said Dr. Neil Baum, New Orleans urologist.

 

Dr. Neil Baum is a nationally recognized author, speaker and urologist in New Orleans and has been in private practice in New Orleans for over 30 years. He offers care for a full array of urologic conditions including minimally invasive-in office procedures and treatment for urinary incontinence, erectile dysfunction, kidney stones, male infertility, prostate inflammation and male sterilization in New Orleans. His research interests focus on treatments for benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), overactive bladder (OAB) and lower urinary tract infections.

 

As patients navigate through the website for this New Orleans urologist, they will find a wealth of information about urological symptoms, treatments and technology. Additionally, patients have easy access to valuable practice information, including new patient forms, online appointment requesting, service descriptions, doctor bios and directions to the office. Whether a patient needs directions to the office or information about a treatment, such as a vasectomy in New Orleans, all of these resources are conveniently available with the click of a mouse.

 

Patients searching for an experienced urologist in New Orleans and the same-day convenience when scheduling appointments turn to Dr. Baum and his professional, caring staff for all of their urology needs.

 

To make an appointment today, call 504-891-8454 or visit www.neilbaum.com.

 

About Neil Baum M.D.: Dr. Neil Baum is a nationally recognized urologist in New Orleans and has been in the private practice of urology in New Orleans, LA, since 1978. He offers state-of-the-art evaluation and treatment of many urologic conditions including male sterilization, BPH treatment, male infertility and benign prostate enlargement in New Orleans. Dr. Baum frequently shares his extensive experience in urology by contributing regularly to the medical press and speaking at numerous medical meetings, practices and hospitals. Dr. Baum is also a member of numerous associations such as the American Urological Association, the American Fertility Society and the Louisiana State Medical Society.