In an effort to improve access to quality care for our patients, the Crow Service Unit in Montana has implemented a new scheduling practice for their health care facilities. The goal is to take care of the needs of the patients on the day they arrive to the health center. Staff anticipates the new initiative will decrease the no shows and cancellation rates while increasing provider productivity, revenue, and patient satisfaction.
Patient feedback identified that some were being turned away when they showed up at the clinic asking for an appointment. This caused a great deal of frustration especially to those who have traveled many miles in hopes of being seen by a provider that day.
The Crow Service Unit has now centralized the scheduling process, placing two dedicated schedulers and implementing guidelines to assist the schedulers with accommodating patients who come in that day needing an appointment. The schedulers consult with the charge nurse or outpatient nurse supervisor, clinical director, clinic pharmacist, the provider and/or provider’s team members.
Another issue the Crow Service Unit is working on is the high number of scheduled patients who do not show up or cancel their appointments. The Crow Service Unit is looking into possibly scheduling more appointments than usual during the day because of the high volume of no shows. When patients do not show up for appointments or take the time to cancel, it creates openings that could have been booked for other patients. We want to be able to accommodate as many patients as possible.
This new scheduling practice has the entire staff’s mindset to be customer service oriented and to be a positive experience for all.
The Crow Service Unit believes that as health care workers, we should always be looking for ways we can better serve our patients.