Now, as we move throughout the day, you're going to want to determine a set time that you do the following; now I highly recommend that you do it when there is typically less patient contact, whether it be in person or over the phone and I'm guessing that if you don't already, you soon will know those busiest times of the day. Your first task is going to be focusing on your confirmations and this would be for the next 48 hour period or the next two days and it needs to be done by noon. Very, very important because you need to allow yourself to have time to make any adjustments should somebody need to move their appointment time or have to cancel their appointment. You need to have time to be able to slide that schedule or do pre-appointing so that we ensure we hit our daily exam goals. Now, you’ll also need to make sure that you have a plan for doing your confirmations for your pre-appoints. So, while typically we’re focused on our 48 hours, for the next two days, your pre-appoint patients, you're going to be confirming depending upon if you have an electronic communication system or not, anywhere from a week to 3 weeks out. Now we do go over this in our patient scheduling program and I want you again to be sure to go through that, that's an absolute must. But right now, the first thing to remember is that confirmations need to be done by noon so that we can ensure we have a full schedule.
Okay, so now I'd like to share with you a little tip that I used to do back in the day when I was handling the schedule and confirmations, I would, yes, always look at my next day schedule and make sure that it was fully booked and fully confirmed, then I would pull a schedule for 48 hours out and one week out. I would start by calling all of my patients that were two days out, any that hadn't confirmed and I would continue to try and reach them and after two calls, if I have not been able to reach them, I would leave a nice message saying that “this is Robin with Dr. Cockrell’s office. Could you please call us back to confirm your appointment?” Now, if I had not heard from them by noon that day, I would typically start deciding whether or not I needed to double book that appointment, because a lot of times your instincts will tell you if you need to. If I had any reschedules, obviously I'm sliding the schedule. I’m doing this in time, I'm leaving and building in time to help make sure that I have a full schedule.
Now, that one week out, what I was looking for here, whether I had an electronic communication system such as Weave or SolutionReach or not, I was looking for my pre-appoint patients that had not confirmed. Since it's been a while, this may not be something that's really on their radar. So, if they haven't confirmed through the electronic communication, I’m definitely calling one week out. Again, I make a couple attempts to reach them, if I don't, I leave a very nice message and I go ahead and double book and/or slide the schedule, whatever I need to do. Now, I'm sure you’re going Robin what do I do if I double book and they both show up? Well you’re always going to be kind and professional and courteous. The patient that shows up first, you go ahead and you schedule them in and you work them right into the system. If that patient shows up, that you had double booked, that had not responded to you, let them know nicely, “I did try and reach you, I tell you what, let me go just double check on our schedule” and go back, move away from the desk, and talk to your patient care coordinator that is handling the tech side of things. Let them know that you have two patients arriving, now they would have known that appointment was already double booked, because you did your huddle that morning, and let them communicate with the doctor so that we can find a positive way to go ahead and work that patient into the schedule. We never want to make them feel bad but we do need to communicate with them that there might be just a little bit of a wait, but we’re looking forward to seeing them. And remember, we don’t want them waiting more than ten minutes.
Now, we have our patient pre-authorizations and calling on co-pays and benefits, etc. It’s very, very important that you’re doing this 3-5 days out, pending your insurance will allow you to do this. Again, you need to have time to be able to communicate with our patient in case they don't have benefits, so that if they’re wanting to move their appointment out, we can and we can refill that schedule time as needed to ensure that full schedule and hitting our daily exam goals. We go over this more in Unveiling the Mystery, which again, is another one of those programs that I want to make sure that you go through.