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  • Michelle Shimmin

Verbiage that Builds Value in Scheduling

(Are you using the these phrases?)

We’ve all heard it at the front desk before;

“We are crazy full.”

“We don’t have anything open until..”

“Doctor is going on vacation again.”

“We are booked out until.”

“That day is full.”

“I can’t put you in because…”

It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in the busyness of our daily flow and frankly we all know it, habits are hard to break!

I’d like you to pause for a moment and think about what the patient or parents' perception is of our practice when we use those phrases? Do they perceive we don’t have time for them? Are other patients more important? Are we in a frantic state because of our patient load? Are we treating them like a hot potato, let’s get you scheduled and on to the next!

Words are extraordinarily powerful and with skillful verbiage we have the ability to influence and drive our patients to efficient scheduling that works for them and the practice needs.

The both direct and accommodating approach has our admin team in the driver's seat while also giving the patient the perception we are going to offer an appointment time that also works for their schedule. Always build value in what you do have available, driving to one or two time options. You can convey what your availability is and still provide top notch service.

Here are suggestions you can customize with your Dr.


“We can offer you blank time or blank time, which works best for you?”

“We have blank time or blank time, which would you prefer?”

Business Office Day

“We are here today for business hours, our clinical technicians are not in. I can offer you ______.”

“Our patient hours that week are: M,T,W.”

Full Schedule

“We are fully committed until blank time, we can offer you blank time. Would that work for you?

"Dr. Jones is committed until “date”. We can offer you blank time or blank time, which would you prefer?”

“Our schedule is fully committed until blank time or blank time, which would you prefer?”

“Dr. Jones is fully committed that day and he/she can see you on…”

Now that you have implemented value building verbiage how will you make this a habit and not slip back to our previous ways? Review the scripting briefly in your morning huddle with the admin team. Keep each other accountable by asking for support from a team member. When we ask others for support in change and they give us feedback that is not criticism but instead should be interpreted as help and accountability support. And maybe we can hold ourselves even MORE accountable when we hear each other using old verbiage we have them start dropping money into a jar so the team coffee allowance grows. Remember change takes work and commitment so whatever ideas you think are best to support each other in utilizing new verbiage so that it is a win win for the practice and our patients.


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