Are you a physician who’s on time or habitually late? If you are late, do you realize it or do you think it's alright to run late?
Patients are people too and have schedules to keep. When the physician is late, it makes the patient run late as well. Some patients are very agreeable and don’t mind the wait, while others get angry. What can you do when a patient gets really annoyed because a doctor is running late?
One of my physicians often ran late, but he would not let us contact the patients and ask them to come in later. Personally, if I know we are running late, I would have called. In some cases, you don’t even realize you are behind in your schedule until it’s too late to contact the patient. He/she is already on his way to the appointment.
How about some recovery? What exactly is recovery? Simple, it is a form of damage control; taking back something that is lost. The question remains, what can be done to make up to the patient for the extensive wait time?
How about giving the patient a $5 gift card to Target, Starbucks or a local store in your area? If the physician is running late 60 minutes or more, it’s easy to send the patient out with the gift card and ask them to return at a certain time. It’s your way of recognizing the patient’s value and letting them know that you apologize for the inconvenience. Our patients are the most important people in our practice. Without them, there is no business. Let them know that they and their time are important.
I’d love to hear of ways you handle your day when you are running late? Please share your comments with me at email@example.com.