Dr. X is running behind–again. But you don't want to interrupt him in front of the client. Here's an easy solution: Get him a pager. Shelly Hiemer, CVT, a technician at AMVET in Otsego, Minn., says her doctor chose to carry one so staff members could notify him when problems arise without interrupting. Then they developed a message system to indicate the degree of emergency. For example, if the team pages the doctor with number 33, he has 10 minutes to wrap up and get to the next client. Number 66 means he only has five minutes, and 99 means it's an emergency.
On the flip side, staff members can be paged too, Hiemer says. Her doctor carries a doorbell trigger in his pocket, and a team member carries the ringer. If the doctor needs assistance in the exam room, he simply presses a button.