Are you ready for summer?
It’s one week after Memorial Day, and summer is upon us. Soon, most students will be on vacation, your patients’ schedules may be disrupted because of their own vacation plans or their need to take care of their children, your staff will be asking for time off, and even you will want to find a few days to escape.
Here are a few things to think about:
1. Let’s start with your own situation: If you’re going to take a real vacation (that is, more than a few days away) have you arranged for extended coverage with one or more psychiatrists you know you can trust? Be sure to brief them on your more challenging patients.
2. With regard to your staff: You no doubt require them to request time off well in advance so that you can plan for their absences. If you hire temporary staff while they’re gone, make sure the temps know your office rules (protecting patient confidentiality; triaging phone calls; handling record requests; dealing with last-minute requests from patients for prescription refills, etc.). If your regular staff will be on duty at the office while you are away, make sure they know who’s covering for you.
3. With regard to your patients: Remind them to reschedule appointments well in advance. Remind them that they should request prescription refills before they head to the ends of the earth for three weeks. Remind them that certain medications may leave them more susceptible to sunburn, while others may reduce their ability to sweat. Further, since vacationers often change their eating and drinking habits, remind them that they need to be mindful of dosing instructions. Being proactive now can really payoff in the future.
And one final reminder. Enjoy your time off!