Opening Checklist

Having a plan and working your plan is vital for a smooth operation. Now to help you out, I have provided downloadable opening, midday, and closing checklists. Now, again I do want you to review these with your doctor and/or practice administrator, but this will help you in starting to get written procedures for guidance. Now, some of these might seem like common sense, but there's a few that I do want to go over just to make sure we're on the same page and stress the importance. 

Let's begin with the opening checklist. So, when you begin your day, prior to opening the door, you’re going to want to make sure you’ve followed all of the sanitation guidelines, so that when your patient walks through the door, they see a clean, uncluttered practice. We’ve provided for you in these times of COVID, with a checklist that has not only has the checklist, but scripting and more in our COVID resource center in your learning library. Remember, first impressions count for your patient when they walk through that door. 

Before you open your doors, you're also going to recount your cash drawer or your petty cash drawer, both from the previous night. This is very, very important and is considered a best practice in retail businesses and yes, we are considered retail. We’re actually hybrid, retail and medical. It’s important that we keep things positive and dont leave opportunities for unacceptable incidents to happen. 

The other thing you're also going to want to do before your patients walk-in is to, either the night before or first thing in the morning, make sure that you print off your schedule and the appropriate number that you need, and distribute as well as go over with your team in the huddles. 

Next, we are going to check our messages. Whether it is our phone message, whether it is electronic communication, such as Solution Reach or Weave or emails and we’re going to be returning any patient calls. If there's a call that's been rescheduled or if on our electronic communication system we still see that somebody has not confirmed their appointment, we want to be on top of this very first thing in the morning so that we can protect our schedule for that day and make sure that our patients have a positive perception about their experience with us. You’d be surprised how often we see this not being done until midday or sometimes not at all and I'm guessing you can imagine what that can do for our workflow for the day. 

Next, we’re going to really review that schedule. I've already mentioned looking at your electronic communication system such as Solution Reach or Weave to see, did anybody want to reschedule, did they cancel their appointment or do we have any unconfirmed appointments, as well as was there a message left or is there an email. If you have a patient communication facilitator, you're going to go over that schedule with them and if not then you will take the accountability to ensure that you have a plan to make sure you have a full schedule for that day.

Okay, let's touch base on that scoreboard real quick. So, again, before you start seeing patients, you're going to want to review your schedule and count up how many comprehensive exams you have scheduled for that day. What is your goal and how many do we actually have scheduled and you’re going to enter that into the exams booked portion of your scoreboard. Now, if we don't have a full schedule, it’s important that we come up with a plan to fix it. We also want to do this in the morning, because what can happen by the end of the day? Well, your schedule can change. And we want to see that positive initiative and effort that you’re putting in to making sure that we have a full schedule for the day and you're meeting STAR performance. 

Your goal, along with your patient communication facilitator or PCF, is to know your daily exam goals, whether it is 10, 14, or 16 and to ensure that within that 48-hour time period, for the next two days, we’re meeting those booked exam goals. So, what this means is, if you have a patient that hasn't confirmed, you’re going to want to be calling them and be prepared to double book if you can't get a hold of them and know how to handle that. If you have an empty exam time on your schedule, you and/or your PCF will be responsible for sliding the schedule or doing recall. Whatever it takes to make sure that we’re hitting our daily exam goals. And we go over this in our patient scheduling course, so that's part of one of your requirements at being at front desk, so we'll go over that a little more in depth in that program, but I want you to know that you're so vital to the success of the practice and you are so much more than just a receptionist.

Okay, so that we can keep our readiness plan in action to see our patients, you're going to want to recheck all of your intended exams for that day and make sure we have all of our patients' insurance authorizations pulled and co-pays. Sometimes that can change at the last minute, at the end of the previous night. So, let’s make sure that we’re ready.

Also, check to see if they might have a balance. If they do, it will be important when we go to collect, whether it's you or if we’ve moved the collections away from the front desk, that we do communicate with them in a positive way and try to collect at that day’s exam. Now, remember if you take Care Credit and its over, usually $200 they can use their Care Credit for that. Or remember, they can use their flex spending account. However we communicate, it's very, very important that we do it in a positive, helpful manner, for both the patient and the practice.