Scheduling!! Pulling your hair out! Everyone wants morning, everyone wants afternoons! Constant Cancellations! All these issues lead to scheduling woes!! Patients young or old have their personal schedules and lives to contend with. Whether you are a PT/OT/SLP therapist we are all busy people and our personal and professional lives fill up our days. Same with our patients.
Our older patients could have medical apts, families, aides, meals and other interferences with their daily schedules personally. For the younger patient, could be school or activities or parental responsibilities. For our working aged patients, they could have work, children, pets. What this adds up to is a juggling act or when to get the therapy sessions done!
When you are an IC, cancellations affect your reimbursement. Here are some scheduling tips for working with patients in the home:
Ask up front what the best times of day that the patient is most readily available.
Try to get that first apt in so you can meet them and discuss what openings you have in person-people are more flexible if you can look at them and explain your availability (remember- if you wow them on that first visit, they will WANT to work with you!)
Block out your times for traveling- using a highlighter if in a book or denoting with color in an electronic format allows you to easily have those windows drawn out.
Try to keep a set schedule with patients- changing up schedules weekly leads to forgetfulness and errors, having the patient know every week it is Tue and Thurs at 10 on their calendars allows for them to make appointments around these times knowing they have a standing appointment with you.
Call before you go! Reminders or Text reminders allows for you to know before you go!
Keep an extra patient on your load- keeping an extra patient allows for when you have cancellations to still stay on track with your number of visits you project you need for your livelihood.
Respecting patients time will lead to them respecting yours! Always make an apt! Even if a patient is homebound they still deserve respect they may have a certain time to eat or bathe or even have a favorite show and that is what they have to look forward to. They should know when you are coming and be happy when you do!
Happy patients lead to happy therapists!
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR SCHEDULING TIPS THAT HELP YOU STAY ORGANIZED?