Patient Scheduling Suggestions

This is a challenging time for our patients and our team members, so we’ve provided some guidance around scheduling. Please read the section below as it pertains to your practice as either currently open, or open for essential care only.

For Practices currently OPEN with regular operating hours:

We know that patients are calling to reschedule or cancel, or no-showing due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. If a patient calls to reschedule or cancel due to symptoms, concerns or fear of COVID-19, try to reschedule 8 weeks out. Use empathetic statements to express your understanding and concern. 
  2. If the patient is prefers not to reschedule, notate all applicable information in the appointment notes and be sure to break the appointment and move the appointment to the unscheduled list for future follow up (follow instructions below). Let the patient know that we will reach out to them at a future time to reschedule.
  3. If a patient no-shows or misses their appointment, go ahead and break the appointment and move to the unscheduled list (follow instructions below). Add notes to the appointment to document that the patient no-showed likely due to COVID-19. 
  4. During downtime, call patients from the unscheduled list to attempt to reschedule 8 weeks out. 

Sample Verbiage:

“We understand your concerns, your safety is our top priority and we look forward to seeing you at a future appointment. Let’s go ahead and get that scheduled for you, sometime in late May (approximately 8 weeks out).”

If a patient prefers not to reschedule,  “Thank you for your being such a valued patient and we will look forward to seeing you when things settle.  Look to hear back from us!”

For Practices open for ESSENTIAL Care Only:

  1. Review your schedule for the next 3 weeks of appointments, and reschedule those non-essential appointments. For example, if your practice is open for essential care only after Wednesday March 18th, look at all appointments from March 19th through April 8th and reschedule all those non-essential appointments to 8 weeks out (after May 13th).
  2. Use empathetic statements to express your understanding and concern. 
  3. If the patient prefers not to schedule 8 weeks out, notate all applicable information in the appointment notes and be sure to break the appointment and move it to the unscheduled list for future follow up (follow instructions below). Let the patient know that we will reach out to them at a future time to reschedule.
  4. If an essential care appointment no-shows or misses their appointment, go ahead and break the appointment and move to the unscheduled list (follow instructions below). Add notes to the appointment to document that the patient no-showed likely due to COVID-19 or applicable explanation. 
  5. During downtime, call patients from the unscheduled list to try to reschedule 8 weeks out. First priority is to get patients rescheduled that weren’t able to visit because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Important notes:

  • We believe that scheduling 8 weeks out will provide time for our communities to resume daily activities.
  • The unscheduled list is our best resource for a working list of patients to try to reschedule if we are unable to do so immediately.
  • Take notes on what you know at the time to help with rescheduling for a future appointment.
  • Practice empathy with your patients and each other during this very challenging time; we are all in this together.