Sunday, September 7, 2008

Office scheduling

I'd like to take a little time to explain to women how an office schedule works. Now this may not be typical for everyone, it may vary a little from practice to practice. Productivity is key while also trying to maintain quality. This is a nearly impossible task that is only worsens when someone shows up late for their appointment.

The owner of the practice I work at does not want us to re-schedule patients for any reason (including their being late) unless we absolutely have to. We also take walk-ins.

Our time slots for various visits are as follows...

New OB Visit 20 min
New OB visit new to our practice 40min
Return OB visit 10 min
Gyn 20min
New to our office Gyn 40min
Consults 40 min
Postpartum visits - 20min

The doctors have it worse - they get less time for some of those visits. Also keep in mind that some of the time allotted is used by the MA (vitals, restroom, etc).

So, if I have woman booked back to back for various types of visits (which I usually do - my schedule stays pretty full) and say...1/4 show up late (this is probably slightly underestimating) anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes late...guess what happens?

I am a big believer (naturally, I'm a midwife) in quality visits. I want to address everyone's concerns, questions, etc. I want to bond and educate as well. If a woman needs the time and attention, I give it to her. However, if women show up makes it really unfair to them, me, and the other women who showed up on time. Everyone has to wait. I have to be stressed out about how far behind I am. I have to practice the art of getting the quality in there but cutting down on time spent in te room. I work through my lunch every now and then. I stay late, which means sacrificing my time with my family and children.

I understand that many of our clientele may have transportation issues...if the bus is late I totally get that. Maybe babysitting issues...bring them with you - I don't mind (most of the time - like the woman who brought her 3 year old son who kept repeatedly hitting her while she just ignored him - it was all I could do to not turn him over my knee and whack him). Kids are ok - I can work around them most of the time. But don't give me the " I forgot what time my appt was", "I ran into traffic" (for god's sake you know where we live - the friggin' traffic capital in the state!), etc.

Be on time please!!!!! Be considerate. Be early! Sometimes when a woman shows up early I will attempt to get seen early so they don't have to wait. I thank them for being early - I appreciate early and on time.

I hope this helps those on the 'outside' understand a little bit about life on the 'inside' at the office!

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