Offering open-access scheduling can improve patient satisfaction, continuity of care, and productivity. One practice also found that it saved staff time as front-desk employees were no longer spending as much time on the phone.
Rather than answering the phone with “How may I help you?” the practice’s staff asks, “Would you like to see a doctor today?” If the patient is looking for an immediate appointment, the staff member can quickly offer potential appointment times without the patient having to explain his or her health concerns for several minutes.
The practice timed these phone conversations and found that when staff members asked, “Would you like to see a doctor today?” when answering the phone, the average time to make an appointment was less than half the time it took if they did not use that question.
Adapted from “’Would You Like to See a Doctor Today?’”
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