You can feel it in the air. The holidays will be here sooner than you think, and along with it comes great surprises. Not all surprises are good, however. When Christmastime comes, people are in a festive mood. Sometimes, they feel too festive that they become reckless.
Here's how you should prepare your family practice for the influx of activity:
Hire a Temp
For any family practice, locum tenens associates and clerks from Interim Physicians may be necessary around December. You need a few more hands to fetch patient records more efficiently and to reduce the time that patients have to wait in line. Though temp workers do not necessarily have to be professionals, they can address heated arguments and prevent any patient from losing their calm while waiting. Sometimes, just the mere presence of an authority figure can already help patients remain calm.
Extend Working Hours
You're getting temporary help with the workload. Why not take it a step further and extend your working hours? This means being available even after regular hours, and missing some bonding time with the family, but think about the benefits: you are helping those who may not be able to come during regular hours. In this time of year, they say giving is the greatest gift of all. Giving a little bit of your time to make sure someone is healthy enough to be with their family seems rewarding.
Keep Office Lines Open
If you're not sold on keeping your practice open for longer than you have to, an alternative is to keep your office phone with you. This way, if someone requires emergency treatment, you can open the practice to help them. Meanwhile, if no one needs you, you don't have to keep the doors open. It's like being an on-call doctor. For many who require emergency services, you'd be a lifesaver.
The holiday rush can leave everyone making questionable decisions. As a family doctor, it's your job to help them as much as you can.