Even practices with adequate staff and organized systems may benefit from refining their appointment scheduling processes. Tardy patients and varying appointment lengths can quickly create and add to patient wait times, impacting patient satisfaction and damaging a practice’s reputation. Some providers are turning to modified wave scheduling to combat these holdups and improve practice efficiency.
Modified wave scheduling is a technique that groups several patients into a “wave” and schedules their appointments for a particular time slot rather than scheduling them individually. These patients receive care individually, but their appointment times overlap with one another, often at the start or end of an hour. Providers take a few minutes between seeing each patient to update records, manage reports and subscriptions, and prepare for their next appointment.
Traditional scheduling can lack flexibility and make patients feel rushed by overwhelmed providers and staff. Modified wave scheduling aims to improve efficiency, decrease delays, and help staff manage patient flow. But does it work?