Optimizing physician schedules improves operational efficiency and provider productivity. Several scheduling strategies are available, as no single option fits all medical groups. The model that is best for your practice will depend on your specialty and other factors. For example, consider these scheduling options:
- Cluster Scheduling involves establishing a schedule template for groups of patients with similar problems or conditions.
- Wave Scheduling consists of scheduling patients for a given block arriving on the half hour or hour instead of scheduling patients on each quarter hour. For instance, a physician may schedule four patients in one hour. Under wave scheduling, they might be asked to arrive on the hour with the provider seeing each patient in the sequence of their arrival.
- Stream Scheduling involves giving a patient a specific appointment time. Most offices use this method for scheduling appointments.
- Practice-Based Scheduling entails using practice- or procedure-based scheduling where the practice determines the patient schedule centered on certain patient types or issues. This type of appointment setting might apply in an orthopedic office, primary care office, or cardiology practice for services like cast removals, allergy injections, and Coumadin management, respectively.
- Open Access or Same-Day Scheduling is a method of scheduling in which all patients can receive an appointment slot on the day they call, almost always with their physician or provider.
Coker Group’s advisors have experience in completing full operational assessments that include an evaluation of the current scheduling model. Based on the outcome, we provide recommendations for increasing operational efficiency. Call 678-832-2021 to speak with Jeff Gorke, Senior Vice President.