To avoid this happening again, here are a few things patients can do:
•When an appointment is being made for you in person, ask for an appointment card so you can have it available to show the front desk person if need be when you arrive for your next appointment. If the appointment is made over the phone ask for written confirmation to be sent to you via mail or an email.
•Call the day before your appointment to confirm that you are on their books. Mistakes do happen, and electronic scheduling isn't perfect.
•If you are turned away or refused to be seen, ask to speak with the practice manager or a supervisor. Hopefully, he or she will be more accommodating.
•Stay calm, but be firm about wanting to be worked in that day.
For front desk workers, here are a few tips to improve patient relationships:
•Be flexible. Try to work in the patient even if it puts you behind a little bit. Better to be behind a little than have unhappy, disgruntled patients.
•Check with the physician or manager for help handling the situation. Have a policy for dealing with this type of situation.
•Do be apologetic, even if it is not your error. Diplomacy goes a long way.
•Have a system in place for reminder calls to your scheduled patients 24 hours before their appointments. And tell patients to call before their visit if they do not get a reminder call.
Service is the name of the game regardless of what business you are in.