Positive Outlook – Issue 18 – June 2017


  1. Do I need a policy and procedure manual for my practice?

A comprehensive policy and procedure program in the provider office practice setting can promote patient safety, improve the quality of care, and serve to mitigate liability exposure. The American Society for Healthcare Risk Management indicates that it is important to consider definitions of policies, procedures and guidelines when developing guidance documents for your practice.

Document The Question The Document Answers Purpose Of Document
Guidelines What is recommended? Provides additional recommended guidance for specific disease entity
Procedure What do I do? Establishes proper steps to take
Standard What is required? Assigns quantifiable measures
Policy Why do I need to do this? A guiding principle to set direction in an organization


For a list of suggested physician office policies & procedures, please call our risk management department who will be happy to assist you in preparing your manual.

  1. What is the best way to manage repeated No-Shows?

A no-show appointment is generally defined as “when a patient fails to appear for a scheduled appointment and does not notify the practice.” Other than emergency situations, the patient will be billed a pre-determined fee. Posting a sign in the waiting room should be considered. New patients should be informed of the policy at the time they establish care with the practice.

Cancellations differ from no-shows in that the patient gives advanced notice that they are unable to keep the appointment. No-show appointments can cause financial issues on the practice and can negatively impact another patient who needs the appointment for medical treatment. Strategies to reduce no-show rates have proven to increase revenue and ensure appointments are kept. To guarantee patient compliance, a written policy should be visible to all patients at the time of the sign up with the practice. For help developing your No-Show Policy, please call our risk management department.