Patient Manual > Scheduling
In order to evaluate your condition adequately, we allow a full hour for new patient appointments. For this reason, and because of the limited number of Rheumatologists available in the area, these appointments are often scheduled several months away. We regret the inconvenience this may cause you, but we do prioritize urgent visits and will work patients in (over our noon hour if necessary) if our doctors receive direct communication from your primary care physician.
Follow-up visits are scheduled based on the level of monitoring required for your condition and the medications you are receiving. It is our commitment to maintain continuity of care as long as our services as specialists are required. Even though our schedules are quite busy, if you have an urgent need concerning your rheumatic disease that cannot wait until the next scheduled visit or cannot be resolved over the phone, we will make every effort to work you in for an earlier appointment.
We will also contact you in the rare event that appointments have to be rescheduled and attempt to make another appointment in a timely fashion. Because of the length of time between when appointments are originally scheduled and the appointment date, our staff is committed to making a concerted effort to contact every patient to give them a reminder call prior to their visit.
The quality of care we can provide and the efficiency of the decisions we make regarding diagnosis and treatment are highly dependent on the quality of medical records we receive. Prior to your first visit, we need to receive records from your primary care physician and other pertinent sources. This will make decisions regarding diagnosis and treatment of your condition much more efficient.
As we have mentioned, Rheumatology specialists are in short supply in this region. If a patient has seen another Rheumatologist previously, our doctors will generally not see them, in order to maximize the space available for patients who have not received care form a specialist in this field.
We want to have adequate space available for patients waiting for appointments. for this reason, we expect appointments to be kept, and we request a telephone call in the event that you may not be able to keep an appointment (24 hours in advance if at all possible). It is our policy that three missed visits without prior notice is grounds for dismissal from this practice. Every missed visit is another slot that could have been offered to another patient in need.
While we will make every effort to work in urgent follow-up appointments, we do not take walk-in visits. Calling our office in advance will ensure that we have sufficient time available to address your needs and work around previously scheduled patients.
To allow our staff the opportunity to contact you for a reminder call, please also inform us if your address or phone number should change.