Finding time to book a doctor’s appointment while navigating your already too-busy schedule can be a struggle. From long phone wait times to office hours that don’t mesh well with your schedule, booking a doctor’s appointment may start to seem impossible. Fortunately, there are a few tips that you can follow that will help make the process a lot more simple. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the best time to schedule your next doctor’s appointment.
Know When To Call The Office
More times than not, when you call your doctor’s office – the line is busy, and you’re on hold for what seems like forever. If you do finally end up getting through to the receptionist, there’s a pretty good chance that there could be no appointments left. So, what can you do? Check your doctor’s website for their office hours, and try calling a minute or two before they open to be one of the first callers to get through.
Doctor’s offices are often the busiest in the morning, so you can try calling at a quieter, slower time of the day when the pace slows down. Calling right before lunchtime is never a good time to try and get through either. The middle to late afternoon is when things quiet down, and you’ll be more likely to get through to book yourself in.
Avoid The Most Popular Appointment Times
Once you’ve gotten through to someone who can help you make an appointment, you want to ensure that you get an appointment in a timely fashion. The most popular and hardest to book appointment slot is 10 am on Friday. Fridays are the most popular appointment days for doctor appointments, with Tuesday being the second most popular. Avoid booking an appointment on these two days if you can to better your chances of finding a free time slot.
The shortest wait times are usually on Monday, then Wednesday. Wednesday often has the most availability and the fewest delays, making it a great day to try and get yourself in for an appointment.
Try a Last Minute Appointment
Sometimes, the doctor simply won’t have any availability for weeks on end, leaving you with few options. Fortunately, you may still have a chance of getting an appointment in a more timely manner. Monday has the highest cancellation and no-show rate for appointments out of any other day of the week. Although that’s not great news for your doctor, it can benefit you and work out in your favor. Try calling the office mid-morning on a Monday to see if your doctor can squeeze you in for a last-minute appointment.
Ask About Alternative Options
When your doctor is booked up weeks in advance and you think you need an appointment sooner rather than later, ask the receptionist if there is anyone else who can see you more quickly. Oftentimes, doctor offices have salaried general practitioners and retainer GPs who are fully qualified but do not have any business interest in their practice. They will usually have more availability and can see you sooner than your doctor. You can also ask about seeing a nurse practitioner instead. Nurse practitioners are nurses who have received training that allows them to assess, treat, and prescribe medication to patients.
Some offices may also run after-hours clinics that you can make use of. If you have more availability in the evenings, an after-hours clinic is a perfect option for you.
Book an Appointment Online
Many people don’t know that many doctor offices now offer the option for you to make your appointment online via their online system. You can book your appointment even when the office is closed and can get a much better look at available slots to choose the one that suits you best. This gives you more flexibility and choice, with less pressure on you to accept an appointment time than when you call in. Ask your doctor’s office if they offer this service and if they do, sign up for it.
Avoid Long Wait Times
Once you’ve booked your appointment, you might still have to deal with long wait times and running late. The first three appointments of the day at the doctor’s office are most likely to run late. It can be difficult to gauge how long each patient’s appointment will take, which is why wait times can be so unpredictable. If you can, book your appointment at the very start of your doctor’s opening hour so that you’re the first patient to be seen. When you are the first patient being seen, you’ll most likely be called in straight away, and can avoid those long, inconvenient wait times.
Trying to book a doctor’s appointment that works for your schedule and isn’t months away can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to be. By following these tips, you can make scheduling your next doctor’s appointment quick, easy, and stress-free.