Scheduling and the Big Time Crunch

I realize that my schedule has got pretty full and that now it may not be possible to get an appointment for 2-3 months.

Dr. Nicola Scheduling

We are always looking at ways on this end to make time more efficient, and I am investigating training another practitioner in the work I do, to have someone who is more readily available in between appointments with me.  However, finding the right person and then training them is a process and will take some time.

In the meanwhile, I will try to be as timely and efficient as possible, while still providing you with the best possible care.

There are also a few things that we would ask of you that would help us not only to stay on time, but to get the most out of our appointments together.   Some of these you might be doing already, but we ask you to help us to make the system work well!

1) Before each appointment, make a summary sheet for me.

This could include:

  • what symptoms are better
  • what symptoms are worse
  • what symptoms are unchanged
  • current medication list
  • current supplement list
  • any questions or topics you want to make sure to cover during the appointment

2) If you want to cover more than one family member during a 30-minute consultation, please let us know ahead of time so I can plan time accordingly during the consult.  While in some cases I am working with the entire family, it is almost impossible to cover more than two family members in one 30-minute consultation.  We can make exceptions where there is only a small amount of information to be covered for each – but again, please be mindful that it’s hard to cover multiple people in just 30 minutes.  One hour is ideal for three people.

3) If your appointment is via Skype, please make sure that we have added you as a contact, and that you have accepted the contact request, prior to your initial consultation.  I find a lot of time is spent searching for people on Skype, making contact requests, or trying to make contact if one is showing as offline.  If your Skype ID is also not your name, you will be harder to find as I search my contact list by name first.  If I don’t see you there, I’ll go back to your new patient paperwork to find your Skype ID – but this all takes time and eats into your appointment time.

Also, for Skype appointments, it helps me the most if you send a message to check in at your appointment time, rather than calling.  If I’m finishing up with the previous patient I can’t answer the call, and the ringing can be distracting.  If you’d like to make contact a brief “ready when you are” message not only let’s me know you’re ready and available, but it also puts your Skype ID right in front of me so I don’t have to go looking for it.

In terms of the scheduling dilemma, here are a couple of ideas to help with that:

  1. Plan and book ahead!  Even if it seems odd to schedule 3-6 months out, that will ensure that you are able to get an appointment time.  Start now!!
  2. Email info@restormedicine.com and ask to be put on our waitlist.   We consistently get openings as people’s schedules change or they can’t make their designated appointment time, and we go back to our waitlist to see who we can offer the time to.   With the waitlist request, it would be helpful if you could let us know an ideal time frame, what days/ times you’re available and how much notice you require to be seen.
  3. If you know that you need to cancel or reschedule an appointment, please give us as much notice as possible so that your time can go to someone on the waitlist who is in need of an appointment.

Unfortunately, with a shortage of Lyme-literate practitioners, and an abundance of Lyme patients, it’s almost inevitable that schedules get booked out well ahead of time.  If you and I can work together to make our time and our appointments more efficient, we can make sure that we get the most benefit from our designated time together.

As I said, I am working on figuring out ways to ease scheduling issues, as I also hate to think that I can’t give you the attention you need in a timely manner.  In the meantime, I appreciate your patience and your help with the suggestions above.

Dr. Nicola