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To Schedule or Not to Schedule, That is the Question

Many offices struggle with balancing the clinical needs of patients, keeping staff happy and simply getting through the day. Bottom line: you are there for your patients. Period. Sally at the front desk knows to follow your scheduling template and to appoint patients where they fit best. Yet balancing patient needs while focusing on a daily workload WITHOUT making patients feel rushed can be a delicate balance — not to mention consistently needing to meet a daily financial goal so the practice can survive yet another day.

Too many times I find that the front desk staff will back off on scheduling in fear of being scolded by the clinical staff for doing their job. Comments like, Who made this appointment?, Why did we put this patient here? and There’s no way I’m going to allow this patient to be put here, all lead to unnecessary conflict. Therefore, it’s wise to review scheduling guidelines at your monthly staff meetings to ensure everyone is on the same page. This also allows you to remind staff that your ultimate goal is caring for patients — personal needs or agendas are not part of your business plan and should be checked at the door. Happy patients make a happy practice!

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