Private practice appointment arrangements | The Private Practice Hub

Appointment arrangements and diary management

Appointment arrangements can be time consuming and overwhelming.

It’s not just about taking your client’s details and agreeing a time. You’ll need a whole system in place, covering terms and conditions, your therapy contract, billing information, DNA (did not attend) letters and so on.

Then there’s diary management – making sure that you never double book, that you’re reminded about appointments and that you can access your schedule on the go.

If you want to save time and make fewer mistakes, you’ll need to be well organised.

This is where software can help, taking a huge amount of admin off your hands and making tasks quick, easy and painless. We talk more about software after the following top tips…

Top tips

1. Keep a record of all new enquiries and your communications with them. This will allow you to track progress and chase up any prospective clients or missing clients.

2. Create templates for client letters and emails. These should be generic templates that can be easily tailored to each individual client. They could include:

  • a thank you for your enquiry letter
  • a confirmation of your first appointment letter with directions
  • a letter to a referrer confirming that you have made an appointment with their client
  • a letter to an existing client who has not contacted you for their next appointment
  • a discharge letter given to a client at the end of their treatment

3. Always confirm an appointment in writing. Make sure you include the date, time, location and directions.

4. When responding to an initial enquiry, and when confirming an appointment, include your terms and conditions together with clear information about your fees and your cancellation policy.

5. When the client confirms an appointment, make a note immediately in your diary, to avoid double-booking.

How software can help

Good practice management software can transform the way you run your practice, taking a huge amount of administration tasks off your hands, leaving you free to see clients.

Of course you don’t need to use practice management software. However, it will allow you to create new appointments, and move, cancel or delete existing ones. It will send you reminders, and eliminate double booking. It can even send clients reminders on the day of their appointments (or the day before).

Software can automate all of your paperwork, holding templates of your appointment letters and terms and conditions. It will link with your client information, saving you time and avoiding errors.

The best software allows you to access your information from multiple locations using the ‘cloud’, so that no matter where you are, you can check and manage your diary.