The Best Way To Manage A Patient Waitlist In Your Clinic

Appointments and schedule management represent a vital part of every clinic. Efficiently handling the timetable directly increases the productivity of your workplace, and therе’s no better way to achieve this than with an integrated patient waitlist.


Encourage patients to join the waitlist

First things first–for the waitlist to be of use, it has to be filled with names at all times. It is paramount to invest efforts into reaching more people and encouraging patients to join the waitlist. Whether you do this via an automated clinic management software or well-informed front office staff, you will want to inform the patients of the benefits of the waitlist. 

This should not be too difficult as most of us jump at the opportunity of getting things done sooner or at a more suitable time. Remember, the more, the merrier!

Clinicminds has introduced an integrated waiting list that is available for every user registered on the platform. From helping patients find the most optimal date to preventing double-bookings and minimizing the consequences of appointment cancellation, it will do much to help you manage clinic appointments and schedules. 


Use the preferred means of communication


This may sound obvious, but still, the common practice among clinics remains to either assume what communication channel patients prefer or establish contact through all of them at once. However, the greatest likelihood of achieving a positive outcome when communicating with patients is when you use their preferred channel. 


If you have already implemented automated appointment reminders, this information is bound to be on the file already. After all, calling someone who is uncomfortable with phone calls does more harm than good, just as sending an email to someone who rarely checks their inbox amounts to sending a message in a bottle and hoping it will get to its destination in time.


Limit outreaching to business hours


There will always be patients who send their cancellation notice in the small hours of the night or late P.M.s, but your clinic as a reputable institution should not immediately jump to contact the waitlist. Even though you might end up with smaller chances of landing a replacement, you will gain more by not irritating and therefore turning away potential patients on your waitlist. Who likes getting woken up by a text in the middle of their sleep?

In the long run, it is better to start reaching out in the morning during your business hours instead. If this policy seems too little, too late, consider a late cancellation fee that will help your clinic cover the costs. 


Base scheduling and employee management decisions on the waitlist


The waitlist has many more uses than just filling up a canceled spot. Beyond this obvious function, an integrated waitlist provides insights into optimal appointment times and general availability for every patient. Using this information, the clinic management can adjust the schedules of medical practitioners to accommodate patients. 


Furthermore, an accumulation of names on the waitlist indicates whether you need to employ more practitioners or assistants. Also, keep the patients on the list for too long, and they might start looking for someone with more free time at their hands. 

Help your clinic make the transition

As with every major update, it is crucial to ensure that the clinic adapts to the integrated waitlist. From training your staff to helping everyone understand the benefits of a waitlist, every improvement counts towards quicker embracement and higher productivity. Higher productivity brings more revenue, and more revenue benefits every part of your workforce.Once successfully trained, your staff will encourage patients to join the waitlist and perform better when reaching out for potential replacements. 

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