The purpose of this policy is to establish a process that minimizes waiting time in Salus clinics by encouraging patients to be on time for their scheduled appointments.
This policy applies to all Contact Center and Patient Access staff in Salus Clinics, as well as patients.
Salus strives to provide high-quality health care. For this reason, a space is provided in the scheduler for each patient with a confirmed appointment, in order to minimize waiting time.
Late arrival to the appointment affects the following:
- The time that the doctor and the team has to care and dedicate to the patient.
- Patient tardiness increases delays, and therefore extends clinic sessions. This directly affects those patients who do attend their appointments on a timely manner.
- Operational effectiveness and patient flow
- Delay in treatment.
Some examples of Lateness include, but are not limited to:
- Arrive after 30 minutes prior to the appointment time.
- Call by phone the same day of the appointment to inform that you will be late for it.
- Punctuality: the value of punctuality is the discipline of being on time to meet our deliberate commitments, examples: a work appointment, a meeting with friends, an office commitment, a pending job to deliver, a medical appointment.
- Patients: are responsible for arriving on time to their coordinated appointments at Salus clinics.
- Salus Contact Center Staff: is responsible for notifying patients that they must arrive 30 minutes before their scheduled appointment time so that they can begin the registration process.
- Salus Registration Staff: if the patient is late for their appointment, the registration staff is responsible for verifying schedules and validating whether or not the patient will be able to be seen by the provider the same day or if it is necessary to reschedule the appointment.
- Salus Supervisors and/or Administrators: responsible for ensuring policy compliance within their team and clinic.
- Coordination of Services
- When coordinating a medical appointment, the Contact Center staff will notify the patient that they must arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment time in order for them to begin with the registration process.
- Day of the Coordinated Appointment
- On the day of the appointment, the patient must register upon arrival at the clinic.
- If the patient arrives at the clinic 30 minutes before their appointment time, the patient will be registered by the registration staff and then be seen by the clinical staff.
- If the patient arrives 25 minutes before their appointment time, the patient will be informed that they are late. The patient will be evaluated but may have to wait until the other patients who have arrived on time are seen first. If the patient refuses to wait, the appointment will be rescheduled according to scheduler availability, and a $25 No-Show fee will be charged.
- If the patient arrives 20 minutes before their appointment time, the patient will be informed that they are late. Depending on availability, and if the doctor agrees, the patient may be seen, but may have to wait until the other patients who have arrived on time are seen first. If the patient refuses to wait or the doctor is unable to see them, the appointment will be rescheduled according to scheduler availability, and a $25 No-Show Fee will be charged.
- If the patient arrives within 20 minutes of their appointment time, the patient will be directed to reschedule their appointment and a $25 No-Show fee will be charged.
- Some providers have a “Walk-In” slot available certain day of the week. If, after verifying provider scheduler, that Walk-In space is available for that same day, registration staff may use it to accommodate that patient.
- Notice of Lateness
- The patient can call the contact center to notify their tardiness at 787-789-1996.
- The contact center staff will guide the patient that he can arrive at the clinic so that the clinic staff can evaluate and determine if he can be seen that same day.
- Contact center staff may reschedule the appointment if the patient determines not to make it to the clinic and will notify the patient that a $25 No-Show Fee will be charged.
- In these cases, the call center staff will notify the registration staff that the patient will not be arriving, and the $25 charge will be charged/adjudicated in the scheduler system. Staff must make notes of conversation on the scheduling system, as evidence.
- Repeated Lateness
- The patient with two (2) or more repeated tardiness will be notified by the supervisor and/or administrator of the clinic.
- Salus is reasonable and fair to patients, and genuine reasons for tardiness, but it is not an acceptable behavior or pattern.
- Backlog in patients flow
- Salus will always do what’s necessary to try and attend patients as timely as possible. However, due to the nature of the business, this is not always possible. Some patients have complex problems that arise on scene or situations that cannot wait and may cause some kind of delay with the Provider.
- The patients waiting to be attended will be notified if there is a delay of more than 15 minutes.
- Dating Confusions
- If for any reason the patient arrives at the clinic on another date than the one that was scheduled and confirmed, the possibility of attending the patient during the day will be evaluated. If accommodation is not possible for that day, the appointment will be rescheduled.