How can patient scheduling be improved?

Medical and dental practices face many challenges when it comes seeing patients, but perhaps the most burdensome one is the scheduling process. If your medical practice relies on the standard manner of scheduling – over the phone – your staff is at a disadvantage as that method is outdated, inefficient and time-consuming. On the patient side, it can cause a lot of aggravation as they are stuck waiting for opening hours and for someone to be free to talk to them.

Instead of draining your staff with this tedious activity, online scheduling software can make the booking process simpler, smoother and more manageable for both admin staff and patients. With a web-based online appointment scheduling solution integrated into your website, patients will be able to easily and securely book appointments from any device and at any time. By clicking a ‘Book Now’ button, patients are taken to a webpage that shows available timeslots for different doctors, and they can select the one that works best for them without ever needing to make a phone call.

Your medical business will also reap the benefits once you have an online booking system in place. Instead of your staff wasting countless hours on the phone, they will be able to reallocate their time to more important tasks such as billing, lab work, and patient follow-ups. When your staff has the time to complete these tasks during the workday, you’ll have fewer overtime costs.
When patients are sick or in crisis, it’s easy for them to forget to write down appointment times or for them to show up at the wrong time. Online scheduling systems offer the ability to quickly set up appointment reminders which can be sent to patients via email or text message. This process helps lower no-shows and late arrivals. Additionally, with an online appointment system, your medical office can set aside blocks of times that are only available for emergency appointments which helps eliminate interruptions throughout the day and delayed waiting times that result from those last-minute appointments.

Online booking systems can be integrated with a wide range of other types of software including your current EMRs, medical billing software, and patient management system. The integration process is fairly simple, especially if you opt for a SaaS-based solution as opposed to an on-premise option. And, if you choose a solution from a reputable company, you can be sure that they use high-end security measures to keep all of your patient data safe.

Your medical practice will begin to experience the benefits as soon as you start using online software. Not only will you be able to keep track of when patients are scheduled for appointments, but you’ll also be able to better manage office resources including doctors, nurses and administrative employees. All in all, if you can improve both the patient experience and the time management of your staff, there are only positive outcomes waiting for you once you add an online booking solution to your website.