Everybody knows that one person who shows up late to everything. You probably joke that if you want that person to arrive for dinner at seven, you have to say it starts at five. When it’s a friend, frequent tardiness is only an annoyance. But when it’s one of your behavior interventionists constantly showing up late for client appointments, this means trouble for your ABA therapy clinic.
Your interventionists are representatives of your clinic, so habitual tardiness reflects poorly on your entire operation, with your clinic’s professionalism likely being called into question. At its worst, clients can become so frustrated that they seek out the services of another clinic.
While there’s no way of ensuring your therapists are never late to an appointment (things do happen, after all), there are a few ways to increase the likelihood of your interventionists showing up on time.
Send Appointment Reminders
With so many appointments on the books, it’s easier than you think for one of your behavior interventionists to mix up appointment times or maybe even overlook an appointment altogether. This is especially true when a previously set appointment is rescheduled. How can you decrease the likelihood of an oversight? By supplying your therapists with appointment reminders.
Of course, this can be done manually by your schedulers, but it can become burdensome for clinics with lots of appointments on the books. ABA therapy scheduling software can help alleviate some of the burden. The best of these solutions send automatic alerts when appointments are set and also when adjustments are made to already scheduled appointments.
Cut Down on Distance
In studies of school age children, it’s been shown that adding distance between their home and school has a negative impact on punctuality due to obstacles like traffic jams and auto accidents. What does this have to do with your behavior interventionists? Well, even though they aren’t schoolchildren, they are impacted by distance in a similar way.
The further an interventionist has to travel, the greater the chance that something goes wrong along the way. Although it will not always be possible due to availability and credentials required by certain clients, you should try to match clients with interventionists who are closest to their home or school.
Space Appointments Appropriately
It could be tempting to stack appointments as closely as possible to squeeze in the most productivity out of each therapist. However, not allowing sufficient travel and rest time between appointments basically guarantees that he or she will be frequently late to appointments.
Make sure that each therapist has enough time between appointments to get from one to another without making a mockery of local speed limits. It may be a good idea to add a small buffer period – 10 minutes or so – between appointments.
Of course, even taking these precautions doesn’t guarantee punctual interventionists. You should record instances of lateness and look for patterns from individuals. Sometimes it’s simply the interventionist in question and it doesn’t matter what your schedulers do. If this is the case, you may need to take disciplinary action.
By applying the practices above, these instances should happen less frequently at your clinic.
Want to make scheduling troubles a thing of the past? See how Autism Clinic Software helps you do it with a free demo.