Fixing your appointment types can seem like an insurmountable task. That’s why we’ve put together a framework to make the task more manageable.
Three Steps for Fixing Your Appointment Types
We worked through this process with hundreds of practices and have boiled it down to three steps.
Schedule time to review and fix your appointment types – make sure to invite your schedulers and doctors if possible. Try to select a day of the week that is generally quiet and commit to getting it done. Friday afternoons are a good time for this.
Pull all the appointment types your practice has ACTUALLY used in the last two months including the Comments/Notes sections commonly used for each of these. This will help you understand what appointment types are needed and what can be deleted.
Review all appointment types and agree as a team which are the most important per provider. Assign one scheduler to update appointment types.
Reviewing Your Appointment Types
Your appointment types need a little work, where do you start?
At this point, you might be getting cold feet, intimidated by the daunting task of reconfiguring your appointment types. The most successful medical organizations took a pilot approach that emphasizes continuous feedback. Here’s how you do that.
1. Start with just a few providers
Choose a handful of providers in a single office and specialty to start with. It’s better to choose an office with involved providers who are willing to be guinea pigs and are tolerant of some bumps along the way.
2. Let your changes be live for a few months
After implementing the changes, wait. Let them be live for a few months to see how they play out. Don’t overreact in the first week when you get pushback. People do not like change, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
3. Expand deliberately
Now that you know what works and what doesn’t, expand over the course of a couple weeks, not all at once. The roll-out does not need to take months, but shouldn’t all happen in one day. It’s best to start at the beginning of a new month, 3-4 months in the future.