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Overhaul your practice appointments system (1 CPD hour)

Dr Harry Yoxall gives his tips on streamlining your booking procedures to be more efficient and patient-friendly.
Learning objectives

This module will offer advice on improving your practice’s appointments system, covering:

  • Looking at your administrative processes from a patient’s point of view
  • processing incoming calls
  • Trying ‘Doctor first’ or ‘intelligent access’ for booking appointments
  • Allowing patients to email their GP

After reading this article you will be asked to record your learning points and some action points to earn a suggested 1 CPD credit. Below are some suggested questions to reflect on as you work through the module:

  1. Could your practice release a proportion of appointment slots for web booking?
  2. Could you provide a better route for urgent calls to your practice?
  3. Have you considered a ‘doctor first’ booking system?
  4. Could you anticipate when extra capacity will be needed and schedule appointments according to demand?

This module was first published on 15th June 2011 and was up to date with all key guidelines and evidence at that point. It will be reviewed as part of our routine update cycle by 15th June 2013 but will be updated sooner to reflect any key guideline changes.

Dr Harry Yoxall is medical secretary of Somerset LMC.

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