Your Cart
Your Cart

Avoid Long Waiting – How to Schedule Your Prenatal Care Office Visits

What is Hotel Collection Bedding and Why is it Popular?

Avoid Long Waiting – How to Schedule Your Prenatal Care Office Visits

This is the type of information I enjoy sharing because it is practical and very applicable. It is often the little things that can make all the difference!

When scheduling an OB/GYN office visit, I hope the following information will be useful and will help explain how a women’s health medical practice is managed on a daily basis.

In OB/GYN, there are many unpredictable factors that can impact how efficiently an office practice will function. Unexpected events can disrupt any office schedule. Miscarriages, surgical emergencies and patients in labor can impact the efficiency of even the best staffed office practice.

Granted there are always clinician-coverage arrangements in place to meet the demands of a particular medical practice but there will always be occasions when the medical staff is simply overwhelmed. When this happens, health providers can only hope that patients will understand.

As a result of the frequency of prenatal care visits, I lot of lost time and aggravation can occur during the prenatal and postpartum experience. Prolonged visits can result in a significant amount of lost time from daily work schedules, not to mention travel time, etc..

Providers dread running behind when caring for prenatal patients and even worse having to reschedule an appointment. Understandably, from the patient’s perspective it can seem like a double standard… patients wait for doctors… why shouldn’t doctors wait for patients?

The recommendations I am going to list below are extremely simple and intended to help minimize some of the inconveniences and frustrations associated with prenatal and postpartum office visits: (This information applies to GYN care as well since most practices manage OB and GYN.)

1.) Book as many prenatal appointments, at one time, as is possible/allowed by your provider so that you can get the times that you want based on your daily routine. The intervals between prenatal appointments vary during the course of your pregnancy (more frequent as your due date approaches). With this in mind, office practices book prenatal appointments months out and it is simply up to you to ask for the times and days you desire, if they are available.

2.) Schedule to be seen at the start of a provider’s office session. This will reduce the possibility of an emergent event (as not above) setting your provider behind as the morning or afternoon session progresses. If you are scheduling an afternoon appointment, try to get a time immediately after lunch (at the start of the afternoon session). Most providers, who are running behind, will tend to use their lunch time as a buffer to catch up if their morning session runs late. Needless to say, this might mean giving up their allotted time for lunch but that is simply how an OB/GYN practice is managed.

3.) Whenever possible, phone ahead to determine whether your provider is running on time. Most practices are glad to hear from you before you arrive so they can address any delays in the office schedule. When I ran behind, I would rather hear from a patient who is on the phone and not sitting in the waiting room. It gave me more flexibility: perhaps I could arrange to see the patient for the last appointment of the day or during a canceled appointment that might have been called in earlier that day. This results in a far better overall experience for the patient and provider.

4.) Schedule your office visits (if there are choices) on days when there will be more than one provider in the office. This is a question you will have to ask, and is the reason I am writing this article. Due to surgical schedules, providers being on-call or just coming off call, there can be days with limited office coverage. This is no one’s fault, it is simply part of the logistics of running an OB/GYN office practice. If there is only one provider in the office, it can take just one urgent medical event to disrupt a schedule for the rest of the day, as there is no one else in the office to cover routine visits.

I hope these suggestions are helpful and will lead to a better overall experience during the course of your pregnancy.

Leave a Reply