Benefits Of Online Scheduling For Medical Practices

Benefits Of Online Scheduling For Medical Practices
Dr Josh December 9, 2021 Telemedicine

The rapidly digitizing world of today is leaving everyone, unable to keep up with its speed, behind. This is true for Healthcare, where electronic scheduling software has revolutionized medical scheduling by transforming it into immensely advantageous digital patient scheduling. 

Healthcare practices are in fierce competition to attain this facility of scheduling patients, and those who aren’t are slowly being sidelined into the margins. The 2nd Edition of the Health Care Checkup Survey by Intuit Health says that although most healthcare facilities do not have the option of online scheduling yet, more than 80 percent of patients prefer scheduling a medical appointment via a secure web service. Want to know what makes scheduling systems in healthcare so beneficial? We’ve got you covered. 

Patients prefer Digital Scheduling over conventional means 

Patients, especially the new generation, prefer booking appointments over their smartphones or laptops over conventional means. Even millennials prefer practices that do not necessitate physically transporting to a location or even making phone calls. The 2019 Healthcare Consumer Trends Report submitted by NRC Health corroborates this claim by saying that 80 percent of patients involved in the survey would switch providers for more convenience alone.

The Accenture 2019 Digital Health Consumer Survey results state the same: 68% of patients are more likely to opt for healthcare facilities that provide users with the option of booking, changing, or canceling appointments online. 

Therefore, by satisfying the inclinations of such a large portion of the population, a healthcare facility is more likely to attract new customers based on its service provision alone, without much need for marketing strategies. Not stepping on the bandwagon of offering digital scheduling for patients may marginalize you in terms of changing demographics, which can prove fatal to a facility. 

Digital Scheduling is a Two Way Road lined with Advantages on Both Sides 

Using online scheduling software is favorable not only for patients but also for service providers. Scheduling systems in healthcare can reduce administrative work by taking a bulk off from the overburdened shoulders of office staff. Instead of scrambling to answer phone calls, maintain patient records, communicate doctor availability, and book appointments, they can focus on what really matters: efficient handling of patients.

The Online Reputation Management Survey conducted by Patient Pop showed that returning patient calls and emails takes up more than 10 hours a week of 32.6 percent of healthcare practices. By leaving such meager managerial and administrative tasks to an electronic scheduling software, you can reduce the workload, long hold times and have your appointments lined up seamlessly. 

Delegating tasks lacking the need for the human touch to digital software can clear up time to bring a positive experience to patients and update medical services. It can also improve customer satisfaction even before a visit. As GetApp says, being put on long holds and inconvenient office hours while scheduling an appointment frustrates 56.1 percent of patients. 

Medical Scheduling Online fills in vacant appointment slots 

Online medical scheduling brings consistency and clarity, which can be translated to the smooth running of a healthcare facility and, consequently, better revenue. The 2017 Survey of Physician Appointment Wait Times and Medicare and Medicaid Acceptance Rates conducted by Merritt Hawkins says that scheduling a new patient appointment in 15 of the largest United States cities takes an average of 24 days. 

However, online scheduling can improve the filling of vacant appointment slots as empty appointment slots result in lost revenue. By having a comprehensive overview of a practice’s schedule and available appointment slots, patients can conveniently choose the one which fits their schedule. 

Digital Scheduling is Available round the clock 

Conventional appointment scheduling significantly limits temporal elements as patients can only book a slot during a clinic’s open hours. Online patient scheduling software provides the ease of 24/7 appointment scheduling, even when the healthcare facility is closed. Patients with other commitments can look at a service’s website any time of their busy schedule and choose whichever slot fits them best. Patient Pop says that 35 percent of their appointments are scheduled outside the typical 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. business hours. 

Efficient Information Management with the use of Online Medical Scheduling 

Online medical scheduling assigns managerial tasks to software, which hardly makes mistakes. Therefore, information such as patient health records, appointment slots, and doctor schedules can be efficiently managed and piled up with this facility. Robert Monroe, a digital technology blogger at DraftBeyond and Research Papers UK, is of the view that “A practice can create a single point from which patient information can be saved, updated and managed. Crucially, this allows for more efficient analysis and better management of a patient’s case file.”

Online Scheduling brings the benefit of Online Payment 

Since patients can choose an appointment slot of their liking instead of one thrust upon them, they are less likely to miss or avoid it. They can also make payments online, which adds to their ease. Katherine Jackson, a healthcare writer at Lucky Assignments and Gum Essays, says that “Patients tend to feel comfortable making payments online because the online scheduling systems are safe and the information stored is kept securely. You can also encourage patients to use the scheduling services more often by offering discounts at set times or offering a free consultation after the first visit.”

Dr Josh

Dr. Josh is a physician who's helping spread the knowledge about Telehealth and its advantages. At SmartClinix, he's providing his expertise and knowledge in the form of engaging articles on various health & tech related topics.

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