46 terms

Chapter 7—Appointments

physician's and patient's schedule equally important
the ultimate art of appointment making is accomplished when the physician's schedule is blended with the patients' needs and convenience
a list of routine services and procedures with an estimate of the time needed for each type of visit
established patient
one who has received professional health care services within the past three years
new patient
one who has not received any professional services from the physician within the past three years
also called a program, instruction that directs the computer to perform tasks
appointment block
when electronic medical office management software reserves segments of time (e.g., 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 60 minutes, etc.) for specific patient types, services, or procedures
tickler file
reminds the medical assistant to send reminder notices or telephone patients before their appointments
daily list of appointments
can be printed from electronic medical office management software
stream (fixed interval) scheduling
gives each patient a specific appointment time (new patients are given more time than established patients)
disadvantages of stream scheduling
little deviation from the schedule for late arrivals, emergencies, walk-ins, or patients who need more or less time than scheduled
data to enter for appointment
patient's full name (last name first), daytime phone number, and chief complaint
chief complaint
reason for a patient's appointment
appointment abbreviations
review the abbreviations on pages 229 to 233
a plan that sets aside blocks of time for similar patient problems
single booking (time specific) scheduling
used when an appointment may take a great amount of time (e.g., psychology, physical therapy, occupational therapy)
double booking
allows two or more patients to have an appointment for a particular time
true wave scheduling
all patients are told their appointments are on the hour, and each is seen in the order they arrive
modified wave scheduling
patients are scheduled at the first half of each hour with single 10-minute appointments; no appointments are scheduled the second half of the hour allowing for work-ins
open access (same day, same day access, advanced access) scheduling
allows most patients to obtain appointments the same day they call
open hours scheduling
allows patients to walk in anytime within a specified timeframe; seen in order of their arrival
sorts out those patients who need to be seen quickly from those who can wait
free periods
two 15- or 30-minute free periods during the day to fix a delayed schedule, perhaps just before lunch and in the midafternoon
fasting blood work
patients who need blood work done while fasting should be scheduled early in the day
scheduling new patients
should be scheduled early in the day so they can be seen as close to their scheduled times as possible
time-consuming patients
do not schedule long or time-consuming patients in the last appointment hour of the day
appointments too far in advance
it is not advisable to schedule a patient appointment too far in advance because calendar events may not be known and the appointment may be forgotten
series of office visits
when a patient is to have a series of office visits, try to schedule them at the same time and day of the week to help establish them in the patient's mind
pharmaceutical reps
block off one or two quiet periods in the middle of the week, perhaps around the noon hour, for sales or pharmaceutical reps
emergency situations
(1) refer patient to hospital, (2) suggest patient come to office immediately, (3) schedule the patient for one of the appointment periods left open for urgent or emergent problems, or (4) work the patient in
patients referred to the office should be given appointments as soon as possible
authorization for referrals
generally, it is not necessary to obtain a signed authorization for release of medical information from a patient who is being referred to another physician for the same condition
habitually late patients
schedule him or her either 15 minutes before the real appointment time or at the end of the day
no-shows (NS or N/S)
each time an appointment is missed, the assistant should note the occurrence in the patient's medical record
follow-up on missed appointment
if the physician thinks the missed appointment will jeopardize the patient's physical condition, the assistant should telephone the patient to suggest making another appointment
charging for missed appointments
some offices charge for failure to keep an appointment; to institute this policy, the patient must be notified in advance
clinical messaging services
patients may request appointments online and also review, reschedule, and cancel appointments
telephone appointments
in some rural areas after the initial appointment, telephone appointments can be arranged in a medical practice if no formal office visit is required
hospital visits
postoperative visits for surgical patients and hospital visits for acutely ill patients are made by the physician at least once and sometimes twice daily
personal digital assistant (PDA) or smartphone
the physician may choose to carry a PDA, smartphone, tape recorder, small notebook, index cards, or a list when visiting patients in the hospital
physicians who take over when a patient is admitted to the hospital; provide inpatient care in place of PCPs
convalescent hospital visits
convalescent hospital or nursing home calls are made on a monthly basis and more frequently if a patient becomes unstable
house call visits
fewer house calls are made today because most physicians do not have the time
recording out-of-office visits
it is the medical assistant's responsibility to record chart data and financial charges for each out-of-office patient visit
eliminate failed appointments
confirmation telephone calls made by the medical assistant to patients scheduled to be seen within one or two days virtually eliminate failed appointments
appointment reference sheet
enables the physician to preview the day and recall established patients in order to prepare for each patient's visit
guidelines to improve scheduling
review bulleted list on page 249