The role of extended weekends in

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The role of extended weekends in

An after-hours clinic is a great complement to a busy family practice. It has the potential not only for improving revenue and helping you make money while you sleep but also for increasing satisfaction among patients, office staff and physicians. Primary Care Partners, now a physician group of family physicians and pediatricians in Grand Junction, Colo.

Nearly five years later, we cannot imagine how we ever got along without it.

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Local insurers should be supportive of an after-hours clinic, as it has the potential for reducing inappropriate ER and hospital utilization rates. The context Inour family practice group had grown to nine physicians. Evening and weekend call was less frequent than it had been in previous years yet still intolerably busy.

Our older partners did not have the energy to make it through a night of call and work the next day. We were concerned that young doctors would not join us with such a demanding call load. The phone rang constantly, and we were so busy often with tasks nonphysicians could handle that when revenue-producing opportunities arose, such as a complicated admission, it was hard to properly attend to them.

We also discovered during this time that having our office open Monday through Friday and Saturday mornings was not adequate for our patients.

Monday morning was a volume disaster, as our patients tried very hard not to bother us on the weekend. Occasionally patients waited too long, causing unnecessary harm.

Our patients are from busy families, frequently with both parents working, and many had a difficult time getting in to see their doctor Monday through Friday during the day.

From their perspective, weekend and evening appointments made much more sense, but we had avoided offering after-hours care primarily to accommodate our staff and our families. When we asked the local emergency room physicians to see our after-hours patients, the long waits, over-testing and high costs were unacceptable.

And our phones kept ringing. We then tried staffing one of our offices after hours with a nurse and having the on-call physician come in and see patients when needed.

This was an improvement over our original on-call routine and quite cost effective, but it was still more convenient to send patients to the emergency room than to call in the physician or interrupt hospital care.

Several years earlier, one of the offices within our group had started a walk-in clinic at a local mall. This venture failed because of overstaffing and inadequate patient volume, but it gave us some experience in how not to do things.

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Because family physicians tend to run the most effective and efficient offices around, we knew we already had the administrative skills to run an after-hours clinic. We just needed enough patient volume to make it work.

The role of extended weekends in

In the late s, our nine-physician group merged with a four-physician family practice group and a seven-physician pediatrics group to position ourselves for changes in our local market. In addition, the merger gave us the necessary patient volume to support a staffed after-hours clinic and telephone triage system.

We had done a detailed financial evaluation and realized we needed to see 12 patients in an evening and 31 patients on a weekend day to break even. Operating under a financially unified structure, we could share profits from an after-hours clinic without any interference from our friend Stark.

Although in our case it made the most sense to merge the practices, small practices could achieve the critical patient volume by setting up a separate corporation for the after-hours clinic.Even if more dads these days agree fathers have a role to play in caring, actions speak louder than words.

Longitudinal studies show that 25% of dads work weekends, and 56% miss family events.


We know now how damaging this is for dads’ mental health and wellbeing. The ABOVE & BEYOND AWARD identifies and recognizes staff members’ outstanding Rachel played a key role in the implementation of Housing’s new residential management database, Star Rez.

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Do you need an appointment w hen the Surgery is closed, in the evening or over the weekend?. If you need to see a GP or Nurse in the evening, over the weekend or bank holidays, please ring You will be given an extended hours appointment to attend designated centres/hubs across the Wigan Borough, during the hours of pm to pm weekdays and am to pm weekends .

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