If you don’t want to hear me complain about work, stop reading here!
If you are still with me:
As I was leaving the office last night to pick up my kids, my office manager stopped me because she wanted to talk.
As it turns out, on Tuesdays someone “up there” is now running a report to see how easy it is to get in to see me in a seven day window. On the surface, this is a noble ideal. I would pose that 7 days is not good enough. We try to accommodate everyone in a 48 hrs window as the standard in my office. The problem with this is that a computer program is only checking to see if I have open appointments.
Apparently this is bad.
We are off the grid in our endeavors. A computer algorithm does not tell the whole story. I work people in all day long. On Tuesday, even though I had a full schedule, I worked in four patients at the end of the morning and at the end of the afternoon. This is pretty standard. I just don’t have appointment slots made up to go there until they are needed. We also slide people into cancellation slots when they occur.
The problem with being a busy physician is balancing my sanity, patient wait times, and patient access. This is impossible to do in a perfect way but we do our best to accommodate everyone. I bristle at some computer telling me how my schedule should look, particularly when patient satisfaction data tells another story.
Yes, I could add a few slots to my schedule every day and tell staff they are not to use them under any circumstance in order to beat the system but I’ll be damned if I am going to play a meaningless game because a computer algorithm says I should. THAT does not improve patient access.
Now I will return you to our regularly scheduled programming…