Scheduling Optimization: Waitlist

What is a waitlist?

A waitlist is a list of patients who are waiting for a particular appointment time that is currently scheduled with another patient. Waitlists often spell out the specific medical service a patient is seeking, so is used to manage the prioritization of patient care.

How do practices manage waitlists today?

We have not conducted a formal poll on how practices manage waitlists today, but common strategies include:

  1. No waitlist
  2. Taking patients off waitlists when a different patient cancels or reschedules
  3. Strategy 2 and strategically booking patients on waitlist in slots where no shows are predicted

Which strategy is most effective?

The most effective strategy is to manage a waitlist and to both slot in waitlisted patients in slots where there are cancellations and reschedules and also where there are predicted no shows.

Key reasons

  1. Waitlists can decrease patient lead times, which leads to higher patient satisfaction
  2. Shorter lead teams reduce the likelihood of no shows
  3. Waitlists communicate to your patients that you're making an effort to accommodate their requests

Sign up to get a free assessment on your practice's current strategies and where you have room for improvement.

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