There are many times throughout the year that doctor’s offices may close for extended days. You deserve time off just like everyone else around the holidays. That doesn’t mean that you are not needed in your office though.
It can leave you feeling stuck between caring for your patients and taking that needed time off. Just cause your doors are closed, doesn’t mean that people stop getting sick or needing your services. It is a vital part of the running of your medical practice to have an emergency plan in place.
There are plans that you can put into place to help you take care of these kinds of situations. It will help you to better assist your patients during closures. Giving them vital information to get them by until you open your doors again. Here are some examples of some of the plans that you should have.
You should have staff members on a rotation for answering phones. That way they are of service to your patients and able to help them to work through their emergencies. If you have staff members rotate, one person is not responsible for phones the entire holiday Also, they can decide if they can wait till you open back up and schedule them for one of the days you have allotted for.
You should plan ahead and expect to have some people eager to get in as soon as you reopen the doors. It would be beneficial if you make sure that you have set aside availability in your schedule. This is a place to get in those people with urgent needs, and not have to put them far out on the schedule.
Communicating with your patients about closures is very important. There are a few ways that you can get the message out to everyone. You can set up a voicemail with information on it for them to follow. You can also send an email to all your patients with detailed information in it.
The voicemail that you set up, should have specific instructions for them to follow. It could be that they have to hang up and call another number or press a button to connect to someone. Some helpful information to include would be:
When patients are calling in to make appointments, go ahead and let them know the holiday hours. That way they can better prepare and schedule appointments. You can also inform patients of closures as they are leaving their appointments.
This gives them a warning about the holiday hours. That way if they have any medication questions, they can call before you close. Tell them they will receive an email about what to do in case of an emergency or if they have any concerns.
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