How To Properly Cluster Book and Free Up Your Time

"There is no way I can get that done. Not enough time. No way."

Sound familiar? How are you supposed to grow your chiropractic practice if you don't even have enough time to manage it properly?

Cluster booking is a great way to free up time for chiropractors. When done properly, cluster booking can be very effective for your chiropractic practice.

Besides helping with your time management, cluster booking also gets you into better habits early on in your chiropractic career.  When things are slower, you spend a lot of time with your patients.  As things get busier, you have to move faster and the existing patients feel slighted.  At all times, be aware of “take aways.”  In other words, if your patients perceive less service than they are used to, they commonly disappear themselves.

Cluster booking is pretty straightforward. The simplest way to start cluster booking is to book patients at the same exact time. For example, if you have 8 patients to schedule during the 4:00-5:00 hour, then schedule three or four patients at the same time. You should be timing yourself to know how long your routine office visit takes.  If you space patients throughout the whole hour, you are wasting time. Most of the time one patient will be early or late while the other shows up on time.  This type of block scheduling also allows for you to schedule “specials” times for new patients or ROF’s.  Just remember to schedule them at the tail end of a cluster so that they walk into a full waiting room.

To increase your capacity, you'll want to work the ends of your schedule toward the middle of your schedule. That way you can free up some uninterrupted time during your day to focus on paperwork, x-rays, etc. Your busiest times will be your first 90 minutes in the morning session, right when you get back from lunch, and the last 90 minutes of the day.  Have your staff “work the book” so the patients who can come in at off-peak times are doing so.

If you can get control of your time, your practice will begin to grow.