Finding Ways to Welcome More Patients Through the Front Door

Offering same-day care is a high priority for healthcare providers, especially with new patients, as they may not give you a second chance to schedule a first appointment.

An award-winning, Midwest healthcare system needed to ensure their appointment scheduling staff make every effort to meet patients’ need for prompt access to care, including offering alternative, in-system options when needed.

The Challenge

Monitor scheduling processes to evaluate key call metrics including same-day availability, access to preferred provider, or other in-system options

Identify opportunities to improve the overall patient scheduling experience down to the clinic level

The Research

Quantitative tracking study among scheduling staff using a mystery shopping approach to track:

Availability of same-day appointment with the specific provider

How frequently in-system options are offered, when timely appointments are unavailable

Call details such as the use of approved greeting, call length, hold times, and overall friendliness

The Results

Customized reporting revealed multiple ways to improve the patient scheduling process at specific clinic locations

Identified the need for further training to ensure patients are routinely referred to in-system providers when appropriate

Prior to launching the ongoing research, there was no easy way to capture this data. Using a proven healthcare mystery shopping approach is helping uncover missed opportunities to serve new patients within their healthcare system.