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Friday, June 4, 2010

The Scheduling Conundrum

I'm a bit frustrated today by a problem that I've never been able to solve completely, even in 25 years of trying. We are (fortunately) a very busy practice, and it is not unusual for all the doctors on duty to be completely booked up on appointments in any given day. In spite of this, we take pride in the fact that if a pet owner feels the need to get their pet in TODAY, we will accommodate them. We charge an additional $15 for these "squeeze-in" appointments to discourage people from taking advantage (if their pet isn't that sick) and because it seriously disrupts our scheduling and causes other clients to wait. We try to leave a little space in our schedules each day to accommodate some of these "squeeze-ins" (we call them Urgent Care Appointments), but they often cause us to run a bit late. OK, sometimes up to 45 minutes late.

Most people seem to appreciate that we will get them in on short notice, even when we don't have openings, and are willing to pay the additional fee. Likewise, those who are made to wait are usually gracious and state that they would be glad if we did the same for their pets in an emergency. However...I can't seem to please everyone on this issue. Yesterday, we had someone walk out after waiting 30 minutes to see the doctor. The doctor was running late because of two Urgent Care patients seen earlier which set her behind. Today, I had a lady (who I go to church with) who wanted to get her dog in to see me for his severely itchy skin. This lady was informed that all my appointments were filled for the next two days (and then some), but that we could get her squeezed in as an Urgent Care appointment and there would be the additional charge. She was quite upset by this, and informed the receptionist that she would just take the dog elsewhere.

Damned if you do, damned if you don't I guess.

1 comment:

  1. Just my opinion..... The quality of care that we receive when visiting is well worth the wait. It is VERY important to me to have a vet that will listen to what I have to say and help me find what will work best for my fur kids. You all do just that. I think having a little patience is a very low price to pay for what we get in return.