Saturday, August 30, 2008

An Afternoon Gone to Hell

The best laid plans..........

Despite all my planning to the contrary my afternoon went to hell the other day. Roughly 15 patients in 2.5 hours and I managed to keep almost everyone of them waiting close to an hour. Here's the run down:

  1. 1 person forgot to take antibiotics prior to a procedure -- had to wait an hour
  2. 1 person forgot their appointment and showed up in the afternoon
  3. 2 emergency patients
  4. Tried to fill 2 open slots, left messages for 3 or 4 patients and asked them to call us if they could come earlier. Two did without calling.
  5. Not enough rooms so everyone got shuffled back and forth
  6. Business matters -- took too much time on paperwork and let one person wait which snowballed
Like every major disaster it is never a single item but a chain reaction of minor events. The bottom line was that at least half of the patients spent over an hour in the office for no good reason. If we had stuck to the schedule, we would have been able to compensate for the extra patients. Instead, we tried to fill the day perfectly, get out early and see everyone when they arrived rather than when they where scheduled (several showed 1/2hr early).

In situations like this I'm reminded of Principle #4 of Toyota;

"Work like the tortoise, not the hare"

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