Question: Good doctor patient relations begin with both parties being punctual

Good doctor– patient relations begin with both parties being punctual for appointments. This is particularly important in my specialty— pediatrics. Mothers whose children have only minor problems don’t like them to sit in the waiting room with really sick ones, and the sick kids become fussy if they have to wait long. But lateness— no matter who’s responsible for it— can cause problems in any practice. Once you’ve fallen more than slightly behind, it may be impossible to catch up that day. And although it’s unfair to keep someone waiting who may have other appointments, the average office patient cools his heels for almost 20 minutes, according to one re-cent survey. Patients may tolerate this, but they don’t like it. I don’t tolerate that in my office, and I don’t believe you have to in yours. I see patients exactly at the appointed hour more than 99 times out of 100. So there are many GPs (grateful patients) in my busy solo practice. Parents often remark to me, “We really appreciate your being on time. Why can’t other doctors do that too?” My answer is “I don’t know, but I’m willing to tell them how I do it.”
What features of the appointment scheduling system were crucial in capturing “many grateful patients”?
What procedures were followed to keep the appointment system flexible enough to accommodate the emergency cases, and yet be able to keep up with the other patients’ appointments?
How were the special cases such as latecomers and no- shows handled?
Prepare a schedule starting at 9 a. m. for the following patients of Dr. Schafer:
Johnny Appleseed, a splinter on his left thumb.
Mark Borino, a new patient.
Joyce Chang, a new patient.
Amar Gavhane, 102.5 degree (Fahrenheit) fever.
Sarah Goodsmith, an immunization.
Tonya Johnston, well- baby checkup.
JJ Lopez, a new patient.
Angel Ramirez, well- baby checkup.
Bobby Toolright, recheck on a sprained ankle.
Rebecca White, a new patient.
Doctor Schafer starts work promptly at 9 a. m. and enjoys taking a 15- minute coffee break around 10: 15 or 10: 30 a. m. Apply the priority rule that maximizes scheduling efficiency. Indicate whether or not you see an exception to this priority rule that might arise. Round up any times listed in the case study (e. g., if the case study stipulates 5 or 10 minutes, then assume 10 minutes for the sake of this problem).

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  • CreatedApril 09, 2014
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