Today, I would like to share an invaluable tool to help you reach out to patients when you need them – the ASAP List. Here is the scenario: your schedule for tomorrow is full. All patients have been marked as confirmed, and you know it is going to be a good day because the staff will be busy and doctor will be happy. Then suddenly, three back-to-back phone calls from patients explaining that they cannot make their scheduled times tomorrow. Of course, you are gracious to your patients, allowing them to reschedule their appointments to the next available day and time several weeks out into the future.
I have yet to encounter an office that could resist the use of an ASAP list. All offices “know” their patients. At a glance, your office scheduling coordinator of many years can look at the schedule book and know which patients have flexibility with their schedule, but even that quick review takes time. With the ASAP list, you can develop a quick action list of patients who have agreed to consider a sooner appointment, should one come available. The ASAP list can be reviewed on screen or printed and given to another team member if the scheduling coordinator is busy or out of the office
No matter how you measure it, the ASAP list is a fantastic, fast tool to quickly populate a list of patients that can save the day and keep your doctor and staff happy (and busy!). Here is what you need to know to start building your ASAP List today:
Adding a Patient to the ASAP List
- Schedule an appointment for the patient as usual.
- Double-click to open the appointment.
- From the Schedule drop-down menu, select ASAP.
- Click OK to save the changes to the appointment.
Bonus Tip: Add a note to indicate what days and times work best for the patient.
Accessing the ASAP List
- Open the Schedule module.
- Click the Lists icon.
- From the drop-down menu, select ASAP List.
But wait, there’s more!
- When viewing the ASAP List, double-click on the patient’s name to view the appointment notes you previously documented.
- To move the appointment from the ASAP List, highlight the patient and click the Clipboard button.
Once the appointment is on the Clipboard, drag the appointment from the Clipboard to an opening on the Schedule.
- Remove a patient from the ASAP List by double-clicking on the appointment and changing the Schedule option back to FIXED.
- Modify the appointment status from the ASAP List window using the status button.
- Set the desired View for your ASAP List using the magnifying glass icon.
- You can select specific providers and operatories.
- You can also choose the number (span) of days the list will cover (up to 99 days into the future).
- The Open List is an equally valuable tool which can be used to indicate patients who have flexible schedules (retirees, work from home, etc.). These patients are often the most amenable to changing their appointment if you have an emergency patient that needs to be seen without delay.
Your patient must have an appointment in order to be eligible for the ASAP List. Many of the offices I work with will communicate to the patient that the next available appointment is XX weeks into the future, and if the patient is willing to accept the future appointment, they may be placed onto the ASAP list for contact when a sooner appointment time opens up. This simple message to the patient extends a great opportunity for the moment when tomorrow’s schedule falls apart.
Check out the ASAP List today! Share with us your experiences with using the list. Please reach out with any questions or concerns. Happy scheduling!
David Broom is Senior Director of Product and Business Development. David has a master’s degree in Information Technology (IT) from the University of Texas in Dallas and has more than 35 years of experience from many global companies such as Hitachi Vantara, Methode Electronics, and Keane, Inc. In his current role, he is responsible for all aspects of the product management and field service teams at Henry Schein TechCentral, which identifies the ideal advanced technologies to meet the unique needs of the dental market and ensure that dental offices are using the right IT to be more efficient and effective.