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FEATURE continued
Scheduling
Between 75 to 100 patients visit Mercado Medical Practice every
day, whether to see a doctor for a routine visit or undergo medical
testing or assessments. The number of patients who are requesting
to be seen by a doctor in-person is rising as Mercado's practice
approaches a new normal.
" We are more open for walk-ins now because social needs are
different now, " he said. " We need to meet them where they are.
We give patients scheduling an appointment the choice between
telemedicine or a live visit. "
Practices are also realizing the need to focus on employees when
it comes to scheduling.
Lightning Bolt Solutions, a worldwide leader in provider and
staff scheduling for hospitals and health systems, recommends
incorporating four key scheduling strategies into the new normal:
'Patients don't mind adjusting from
good will. If they know what we are
doing is best for them, they understand
it is their best interest.'
- Dr. Max Mercado
First, address patient demand by making additional providers
available to schedule as needed. For safety reasons, remove at-risk
providers from schedules. Then, limit or eliminate location switching
among providers. And lastly, but not least, avoid burnout by incorporating
adequate breaks and shorter shifts into a regular, daily schedule.
Lefton has found his patients, staff and colleagues to be accepting
and accommodating of the new normal.
" Patients appreciate what we are doing for them through this, "
he said. " They are very understanding and know we are doing these
things for their benefit. "
Mercado echoed these remarks.
" Patients don't mind adjusting from good will, " he said. " If they
know what we are doing is best for them, they understand it is their
best interest. "
*
Michael C. Upton is a contributing writer to Philadelphia Medicine.
16 Philadelphia Medicine : Summer 2021
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