Flip No. 99

Late Patient Arrival Impacts Care Delivery to Subsequent Patients

Provider schedules facing disruption due to patients arriving after their scheduled appointment time.

By Sharon Edelstein, Jill Hibbert, Donna McCarathy, Lorraine Ondrasik

When a patient arrives late to an appointment, it causes a ripple effect that impacts the remainder of the doctors schedule, causing an inconvenience to staff and longer wait times for patients for the remainder of the day. In order to stress the importance of timeliness, patients need to be made aware of the clinic “late policy” when they make an appointment, as well as during the appointment confirmation call. The policy should also be posted in patient frequented areas throughout the clinic. Consistent messaging, and staff feeling empowered to enforce the policy, will ease the burden of tardy patients.