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Whether or not extended hours will improve your practice depends on the types of patients you have, their ages, and their situations, says Elizabeth Woodcock, FACMPE. For instance, if most of your patients are retired, there may be no need to schedule them to come in at 7 a.m. or 7 p.m. because they aren’t pressed for time during the day.
But if your have a pediatric or orthopedic practice or if you treat a lot of people who have full-time jobs, staying open for a few extra hours each week could make a big difference to your patients. "It’s really very much customer-dependent in terms of how popular it will be with patients," says Woodcock, an Atlanta-based health care consultant. She suggests considering the following before expanding your hours:
Take the feelings of your staff into consideration as well, she says. "You don’t want to make it a situation where it is making everybody in the practice miserable, or it will backfire," Woodcock says.