Patient Scheduling Best Practices: Calendar Optimization

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In many ways your practice calendar is the heartbeat of your business. Proper calendar optimization is crucial to maintaining consistent bookings throughout the year (even during slow seasons).

Calendar Optimization Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

For elective healthcare practices, the optimal lead-to-schedule rate is 45% for both phone and email leads. The optimal schedule-to-attendance rate is 70%. If you’re not hitting these numbers it’s possible there is a problem in your scheduling and calendar process.
"Calendar optimization is one of the forgotten tools for driving profit."

Factors to Consider

When reviewing your calendar, factors like the age of your business, seasonality and marketing initiatives can impact both your lead-to-schedule rate and your schedule-to-attendance rate.

  • Age of the Practice – As your business matures you will book consultations and appointments further in advance, requiring you to modify your calendar to meet the demand of today’s activity rate.
  • Seasonality – It is typical for attendance rates to be lower in the summer and during the holiday season.
  • Marketing Initiatives – As you test new marketing avenues and generate more leads you can expect to fill up your calendar faster.

How to Optimize Your Calendar

When finalizing a process to increase your lead-to-schedule and schedule-to-attendance rates, consider the following:

  • Revenue First and Foremost – Your highest gross profit procedures should get priority when it comes to scheduling. You don’t want to take a $100 procedure and put it ahead of a $2,500 procedure.
  • 90 Day Reviews – Every three months, look back at your lead-to-schedule and schedule-to-attendance rate to determine if anything in regards to the age of the practice, seasonality and/or marketing initiatives are changing your KPIs.
  • Reschedule / Backfill Process – Ensure you have a solid reschedule and backfill practice. Patients are going to cancel, and that’s okay. At RSI we recommend you give them the benefit of the doubt and reschedule at least twice. It is also critical to have a backfill process in place so you can fill up last-minute calendar openings.

Calendar optimization is one of the forgotten tools for driving profit but something you and your staff should review from time to time. These considerations will help you optimize your calendar and drive more money into your business.