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A Better Way to Schedule Patients

A new patient calls for an appointment.  Where are they placed in the schedule?  If your office is like most practices the patient is given the option of the first few available time slots with little regard to the patient being seen immediately before or immediately after their visit.  If a new patient walks into a waiting room full of somewhat unhappy patients waiting for repair service your new patient sale could be over before it begins.
Scheduling for Efficiency
When scheduling patients your staff should take two things into consideration.

  1. What times of the day are ideal for the professional staff to see different types of patient’s.
  2. “Like” patients should be grouped together.

Scheduling in this manner will accomplish a lot more than you realize.

  1. Grouping “like” patients together increases the professional staff’s ability to focus on the task at hand, especially important during sales situations.
  2. By not scheduling “sales opportunities” during the professional staffs low points of the day (mine was always 2:00 – 3:00 when I really just wanted a nap), the negative impact on the closure ratio is lessened.
  3. New patients are much less likely to overhear complaints and problems…never a good start to a first visit.
  4. Service patients will realize that they aren’t the only patient who has problems with their hearing aids.

While there are exceptions to every rule, sometimes a patient has to be scheduled in a less than ideal time slot.  It’s important to remember what you’re trying to accomplish.  Every new aidable patient who leaves your office without amplification is a lost sale.   Worse, that patient will typically wait another few years to try again.  You and your staff should do everything in your power to prevent that from happening.