The logistics of patient scheduling can be difficult enough any time of year. At the holidays, the odd hours and closures can make it particularly tricky to maintain both efficiency and high standards for patient care. These tips should help relieve some of the burden.
Confirm Work Schedules First
Before scheduling patients, make sure you have the staff coverage. Expect employee “sick days” to be more likely than usual and implement holiday scheduling rules that stay consistent year to year (e.g., everyone works either the day before or day after Christmas).
Widely Announce Holiday Office Hours
Prep your patients for unusual scheduling by making sure everyone is aware of holiday hours. Most of your audience will not see a sign posted on the door. Remember to update your voicemail recording and automated phone greeting with a holiday message.
Expect Regular Traffic Around Holidays
For 2014, Christmas and New Year’s Eve fall on Thursdays. Expect normal weekday business around Christmas and leading up to New Year’s. If your offer urgent care for injuries, avoid overextending the office with scheduled appointments.
Safeguard Your Communications
Winter weather leads to outages. Loss of communications could severely hurt your patient relationships. Reliable answering services and messaging systems with disaster recovery protection are designed with times like these in mind.
Consider Emergency-Only Service
To satisfy the most patients while accommodating as many as possible, consider shutting down appointments around certain holidays. It may be best to prioritize last-minute needs and emergency situations.
Keeping up with patient expectations can be difficult around the holiday. Consider our operator services to help your practice function more efficiently, now and throughout the year.