Q: "Is it normal for patients to only be able to schedule one appoinment at a time after a ROF?"
A: That’s a very rare situation in our office, typically only for people whose shifts or work schedules fluctuate and have not yet been posted. Most patients have their PDAs readily accessible.
If the doctor effectively communicates the care plan, then scheduling accordingly is very simple for the CA. One key question I suggest after the ROF is for the CA to ask, “So, what did the doctor recommend?” If they can properly reiterate the recommendations, great—you can move on to scheduling (I recommend a standing appointment schedule whenever possible). If the patient cannot repeat the recommendations, go get the doctor and have him/her go back over that part of the ROF.
When we initiated this procedure in our office, we noticed a lot of patients were unclear on their recommendations. This helped the doctors to realize that they needed to be more clear and concise with their communication. It’s quite the exception to the rule, now.
Of course understanding the recommendations is just one obstacle to effective appointment scheduling. Patients who feel a connection with your team (doctor and CA) and have been appropriately educated about chiropractic care will usually choose to accept the doctor's recommendations.
If appointment scheduling is a challenge in your practice, consider purchasing the previously recorded tele-seminar on Appointment Systems. It covers:
- How to prevent missed appointments
- How to communicate the importance of appointments to patients
- The best scheduling techniques
- How to handle scheduling obstacles
- How to avoid unconscious sabotage
- How to decrease no-shows by 66%
- Effective recall strategies for both new and established patients
- How to ensure that your patients don't end up M.I.A.