Aurora identified three standard appointment types in their practice optimization: Standard visits, acute visits, and ‘other visits’. In this sample wheel for an Aurora primary care physician, every hour of the day is broken into four 15-minute sections, The last, ‘block time’, period serves as a buffer to accommodate visits running over, and gives physicians time to fulfill a number of responsibilities.
Three standard templates
Beyond the sample wheel we covered on the previous page for Physician A, Aurora offers two extra, specialty-agnostic scheduling wheel options. All three templates fix the number of appointments per hour (grey) and account for administrative tasks (red) which otherwise would be completed after normal hours. Physicians are to spend the appropriate amount of time with each patient, but Aurora's data suggests that 45 minutes is sufficient to complete three visits.
Who’s holding physicians accountable in each model?
Each of Aurora’s three scheduling wheel options are designed to wrap up and restart, uniformly, at the 60 minute mark. How does Aurora keep all their physicians operating on time? Aurora smartly utilizes their nurses as ‘gatekeepers’ for the model, ensuring the practice is staying on top of schedule.
Nurses room the first scheduled patient, before the top of the hour. At the end of the hour, the nurse also check-ins with physicians to confirm that the necessary documentation, dictation, and related phone calls are completed.