Policy Regarding Late Arrivals


Just as you were trying to get a handle on the week’s events, and hoping for a relatively quiet day, one of your front desk staff calls you. The issue here is that a Patient has arrived and they are late for their appointment. They are pleading with your front desk clerk, stating that they had a flat tire and their cell phone battery died…they could not call. The patient wants to speak to the boss.

Our clinic policy states that if more than 50% of the appointment time has elapsed, the patient will not be seen. 10 minutes of the 20 minute appointment has elapsed. What do you see as your options in this case? What is your decision here? How do we ensure that the patients are familiar with our policy regarding late arrivals? What staff did you interact with? Did you interact with the patient? What was the outcome?