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Ambulatory patient scheduling

  • 1.  Ambulatory patient scheduling

    Posted 05-17-2019 20:18
    good evening!

    I was hoping to start a discussion in regards to patient scheduling. Currently, we are a 24 chair infusion suite which sees approximately 60-70 patients per day. our shifts are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday 7-7 (with the first patient scheduled at 740) and Tuesday and Friday 740-5pm

    For the past few years we have played around with different scheduling templates and we always end up having other hurdles with our changes.
    as far as our scheduling goes right now, we use EPIC EMR, and schedule 3 patients Q20 minutes. We also have a fast track RN which sees about 20-30 patients per day depending on the day. We schedule 2 RN's to help in this spot with one as a PRN in the afternoon to help the other nurses.
    In our fast track schedule we try and accommodate injections and things like that for the first few hours until the height of the day which is strictly lab draws for blood work, then we start back up with injections and such around 230-3pm. Like any other ambulatory center, the height of our day is between 10-1pm. our nursing shifts are staggered: (2) nurses 7-7p, a few of them 10 hour shifts and the other few are 8 hour shifts.
    My question is: is anyone willing to share any of your scheduling grids, ideas or things you've done to your schedule that have helped with the ambulatory scheduling issues that we all face. The front desk does utilize snapboard as well for scheduling. I feel like I am at the point that we've tried pretty much everything I've read online so just looking for some other's feedback.

    I would appreciate any and all feedback and would love to start this discussion for anyone else with the same issues

    Thank you


  • 2.  RE: Ambulatory patient scheduling

    Posted 05-22-2019 21:00
    looking for feedback


  • 3.  RE: Ambulatory patient scheduling

    Posted 05-29-2019 10:19
    Hi Amanda
    This topic comes up regularly in the communities and it's tough to find an answer that might work for you as it's complicated by the many differences in how our systems operate. We have 51 infusion bays, seeing about 200 patients per day (open 365 days/year). We have a separate department that does blood draws (about 300-400 per day), so that frees up both space and RN time. Our RNs also do not schedule patients or deal with prescriptions, etc. So our model might be different than yours. These types of details are important as they influence how many patients can be seen.

    We schedule with EPIC, with different regimens having differing lengths of visits. It's not a perfect system, but it works well enough. The schedulers use EPIC to find a time slot (or a day) that will accommodate the visit length. There are always cancellations and add-ons as well, which we handle on a case-by-case basis.

    Last year we implemented LEAN TAAS software that helps "level-load" the day to effectively spread out the 10am-2pm "hump". (Yes, every patient wants a specific time but they cannot all get that time.) The software has definitely helped distribute patients across the 15 hours of operation.

    Feel free to email me if you want to discuss further.


    Seth Eisenberg RN ASN OCN BMTCN
    Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
    Federal Way WA