Evaluate Your Schedule Blocking Needs

To add effective blocks to your schedule, you need to understand your blocking needs. Partner has several different tools for manipulating blocks. Once you have decided how you want your providers’ schedules blocked, you can choose the block types and blocking programs that best suit your needs.

Consider the following questions:

  • How much sick time should be saved for each provider?

  • Would you like the sick time first thing in the morning, grouped into hours, or alternating with your physicals?

  • How long are each provider’s sick visits and physical appointments?

  • Other than sick visits, what other visit types have you had difficulty scheduling?

Some offices find it useful to write out their schedule and plan what each provider’s day should look like. They create a notebook that looks like this:

        Doctor Smith       Doctor Green         Doctor Blue 
8:30    Sick Time          Physical Time        Rounds 
9:00    Sick Time          Physical Time        Rounds 
9:30    Physical Time      Sick Time            Catch-Up Time 
10:00   Physical Time      Physical Time        Sick Time 
10:30   Physical Time      Sick Time            Sick Time 
11:00   Physical Time      Physical Time        Physical Time 
11:30   Sick Time          Sick Time            Physical Time 
11:45   Sick Time          Physical Time        Physical Time 
12:00   LUNCH              Sick Time            LUNCH …

Other offices plan their alternating blocks by filling out a clock face to show what time during the hour they would like blocked for each type of visit.

Partner has scheduling reports that can help you figure out how much sick time you need. The Appointment Summarizer (appts) report, for example, totals the number of visits of each type for a given date range. Contact PCC (<support@pcc.com>, 800-722-1082) for more information.

Note: While designing your schedule, remember that blocks only hold time until they expire. Once a recheck block disappears, sam will offer the time to any visit that can fit in the open slot. A block holds time, it does not enforce a visit reason for a specific time. When time is open, sam will try to use it.

Finally, remember to plan ahead. If you wait until June to revise and place your summer blocks, your staff may already have booked dozens of appointments. You may end up double-booking a block on top of an existing visit. The sam program will still try to handle the conflict intelligently by soaking up adjacent time, but your schedule will be cluttered and difficult to understand. Place your blocks several months ahead of time in order to avoid overbooking and confusion.

  • Last modified: August 3, 2015