Cancellations in bad weather? You may need a specialist to help you fill open slots. If you work in operations in a healthcare provider organization, then you know how bad it can get when the weather gets bad. Patients cancel or need to be rescheduled. Holes in the calendar have to be filled to avoid costly downtime. The phones are jammed and you might also be short-staffed.
Here’s how an actual medical practice in Baltimore is responding with technology:
We are a busy practice, and patients expect to wait at least three to four weeks for an appointment in the best of circumstances. Like any practice in our area, we get cancellations as soon as there is a hint of bad weather. But we hardly get stuck with any open slots. At least not for very long. As soon as someone cancels, the opening is posted on Everseat, and usually not more than a minute or two later an existing patient or even a new patient clicks on it to indicate they want to take that appointment. Our office is notified in real time and can determine in a matter of minutes whether it makes sense to fit them into that slot or to accommodate them in some other way. How do these patients know our available appointments are posted on Everseat? When they call us or visit the office, we tell them about it. We say that they can opt in for digital notification of available open slots. At any given time, we have dozens of people who have chosen to be pinged on their smartphone when something convenient for their specifications opens up. When they get in, they feel like they won the appointment lottery. And we are delighted because we are here to take care of our patients and there is nothing we would rather be doing.
Here are a few thoughts to consider as you cope with weather chaos or think about what you will do when it next comes your way:
- When patients start canceling, you need an efficient and reliable way to replace them with the right patients in the right slots.
- Using the phones to find the right patients on short notice is not easy. And it’s probably not working. At least not well enough.
- If your practice is closing due to weather, re-booking all of those patients will tie up your staff and your phones for hours.
- As great as your EHR or other tools are for many things, for this job you need technology, strategy and expertise
- With Everseat, you can automate the entire process. You will get more done in less time; for the practice and the patients.
Everseat partners with health and wellness provider organizations of all sizes across the United States. We want to work with you. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can have you up and ready before bad weather hits again.