Health & Safety

March 1, 2013

412th MDG offers tips to reduce appointment line hold times

Scheduling a medical appointment with a healthcare provider can sometimes be a frustrating task for patients.

Whether its long hold times due to high call volume or the inability to get an appointment that meets the patient’s needs in a timely manner, frustration can sometimes carry over to the appointment resulting in patient dissatisfaction.

The 412 Medical Group team wants every beneficiary to have a positive experience and that experience begins with the appointment process. Interested in shorter hold times on the phone? Call when others are not. Want more flexibility in managing medical appointments? Check out TRICARE Online and book your own appointment.

The 412th MDG appointment line, (661) 277-7118, operates from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on duty days.

Appointment line hold times are impacted by a number of factors to include call volume and staffing levels. Appointment line call volumes vary based on the time of day as well as the day of the week. The highest call volume occurs between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m.

Approximately 40-50 percent of the daily call volume occurs during this three-hour period. Hold times during this period average 3 to 5 minutes, with longer hold times frequently occurring the first duty day following a holiday weekend or Monday training day. During known peak call hours, the 412th MDG makes every effort to keep hold times as short as possible, to include dedicating additional staff to the appointment desk. Beneficiaries requiring urgent care after-hours or on weekends or holidays, are encouraged to call the Nurse Advice Line at (866) 535-4137.

So, what is the best time to call the appointment line? Call during non-peak hours. If you are calling to schedule, cancel or verify an appointment that is not for the same day, calling later in the day will lead to shorter hold times. Currently, hold times average 1-2 minutes between the hours of 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. daily.

Want to manage your own appointment on-line? Check out TRICARE Online. Every beneficiary enrolled to the 412th MDG is eligible for a TRICARE Online account. TRICARE Online is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and allows beneficiaries to schedule appointments and cancel or view booked appointments online. Most appointments available for booking through the appointment line are available on TRICARE Online with the exception of Active Duty Preventive Health Assessments and Sick Call appointments for personnel enrolled to the Flight and Operational Medicine clinic. Please visit www.tricareonline.com for more information or to register for an account.

The 412th MDG is committed to creating an environment of world-class health care that is patient-centered and customer-focused. If you have any questions, concerns or comments please contact the 412th MDG Patient Advocate at (661) 275-2698.

 




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