Archive for May, 2009

Online appointment scheduling and Modern appointment software

Jon May 27th, 2009


It has happened to each and every one of us. We call our doctor’s office at the last minute to schedule an appointment – and the first thing we are told is, “please hold!” While we sit on the phone waiting for someone to talk to us, we become more and more frustrated. When the receptionist finally picks up the phone to speak with us, the other line begins ringing again and our frustration starts anew! The only thing worse than sitting on hold with your doctor’s office to schedule an appointment is calling and getting the dreaded “busy signal”. When that happens, we are about to go through the roof. And, when that happens – patients consider going to a different medical practice.

But, alas – relief could be in sight. Online appointment scheduling is the wave of the future for appointment software . With millions of people on the Internet across the world in any given moment, everything from virtual office assistants to online appointment scheduling is becoming more and more popular.

There are many reasons for the popularity of online appointment scheduling but the first is the obvious reason – convenience. Online appointment scheduling allows the patient to log onto the Internet at anytime of the day or night to make an appointment. With one click of the mouse, a patient can make an appointment for the next day, or the next month, or the next year! What’s more – a patient can automatically see what appointment times are available and can even schedule follow up visits at the same time. Convenience is the key to appointment software . But the benefits of modern appointment software don’t stop there.

Automation of service is another major benifit for all. Patients and doctors can get reminders sent to their email reminding them of appointments. This cuts way down on missed appointments.

As well, modern visual design replace the old fashion “search-and-typing” with “point-and-click”; with one click of a mouse, or tap on their mobile device doctor’s can see all of their appointments for the day, week, month, and year.

In terms of office operations – online appointment scheduling makes the doctor’s office run like a “well-oiled” machine and patients are noticing! It used to be receptionists and support staff spent most of their time worrying about appointments and scheduling. And, that’s to mention the phone ringing off the hook with appointment questions. Now, because of automated appointment scheduling, receptionists and support staff can focus on the important things – making sure patients are getting the care and the information they need!

Online Appointment Scheduling Just Got Easier with Google Sync

Martin Wright May 22nd, 2009


Working in the medical field means that you will barely have enough time to yourself. Working in private practice is even more demanding. It is difficult to keep up with your patients, appointments, paper work and private life. Even if you have the most effective personal assistant, they may not be able to handle all the pressure that comes with effectively running a private practice reception. There are patients to be addressed in the waiting room, telephones to be answered, appointments to be scheduled and paperwork to organize.

You can reduce this burden by investing in good practice management tool such as an online appointment scheduler.

An online appointment scheduler will allow patient self-service scheduling. Your receptionist will no longer have to spent much of her time scheduling appointments while she could be assisting patients with other important issues.

Since the appointment program is web-based, patients don’t have to crowd into your reception or congest your phone lines to schedule appointments; they can instead access online appointment scheduling services from Internet. Your receptionist or personal assistant will be able to work more efficiently as a result of the reduced work load.

The self-service patient appointment scheduling service is 24/7. A huge convenience to those patients who can not call during your office hours.

A modern appointment program service is not only a great convenience to patients and private practice receptionists; it also provides a lot of ease for doctors in private practice.

One very attractive feature for doctors is Google Sync.

Google Sync allows doctors to have access to their business appointment when they are away from office or without computer or Intenet connection. Google Sync is tailored to suit the mobile phone that you have. The service is available for those with phones such as iPhone, Nokia S60, Sony Ericsson, Windows Mobile, Blackberry and Nokia Standard.

It also allows the synchronizing of medical appointment program with Google calendar. You will therefore be alerted about appointments and events that are on your online scheduler by vibration or with a sound. You will therefore always be up to date with your appointments no matter where you are.

In addition to that it will help you organize your schedules. Google Sync ensures that you do not make appointments that coincide via Google calendar and the online doctor appointment scheduling service. You will be able to access your online scheduler via phone and make any necessary changes to the schedule at any time. You no longer have to drive to the clinic, carry around a heavy appointment dairy or call your receptionist over the weekend to find out what appointments you have scheduled for the upcoming week. All you need to do is consult your online scheduler and Google calendar for this.

Turn “uh-oh no-show” into $$$ with automated reminder service

Jon May 21st, 2009


Some doctors insist on letting their own staff to make patient reminder calls instead of using reminder service! They believe such calls make the service more “personal”.

Is it really better, for patient or for medical office, if a reminder call is made by staff (or more “personal”) than automated system?

Let’s face it. We all live busy lives, and none of us have too much extra time for small talk. The last time my doctor’s office called me to remind me of an upcoming appointment the receptionist began with, “Hi, how are you feeling?” It was a very nice sentiment – but one in which my busy day, I don’t have time to be engaged in. I was very nice, but a call that should’ve taken 10 seconds, ended up taking 3 minutes. And, really- who wants to waste anytime let alone speaking to a receptionist at your doctor’s office?

Vice versa, I am pretty sure there are receptionists that get caught into an undesired long conversation by patients bring up issues that are beyond their control. “Can you tell doctor that I still have this pain over…”. “How comes the medicine I took is not working…”.

It got me to thinking – wouldn’t that a receptionist’s time be better served talking to patients in person at the office and not bantering over the phone? And, wouldn’t it make more sense for the receptionist to be doing something more productive for the practice?
And, that’s where the idea of the automated reminder service comes in.

A reminder service automatically calls patients and reminds them of their appointments. With the virtual system in place, the call is made on time and is quick and easy. Patients like it because you’re not taking up their valuable time. And, there is a hidden benefit for the medical practice as well.

The hidden benefit is by using a reminder service – you are actually cutting your cost and increasing revenue. Why? First of all, you are turning potential “no-shows” into returning patients. The more patients you can maintain in your practice, the more your revenue increases. In addition, this frees up your live receptionist to do more important business around the office. For example, because the automatic reminder service is handling reminding patients about their appointments, the receptionist can focus on attracting new patients. Attracting new patients is something an automated system may not do – but reminding current patients of their appointments is absolutely something the virtual service can and will do effectively. And, when no-shows at your medical practice go down and customer satisfaction goes up because of the automated reminders – you have struck gold!

And all of this, without perhaps alienating your patients by unnecessary small talk or – even worse – by being put on hold during the appointment reminder process. The automated reminder cuts down on many different things that could adversely affect the patient’s experience.

And, there is one more thing to keep in mind as well. An automated appointment reminder system can be programmed to do many different things. Calling and reminding patients of their appointments is just one small aspect. Imagine programming the system to speak in the language the patient speaks – automatically! Or, imagine the automated reminder system calling to remind patients about prescription refills or other necessary items that could impact their health? There are many different uses for the virtual reminder system – all of which help bring in more patients and help keep your current patients satisfied. And, when your patients are happy, the practice is happy because chances are those patients are telling their friends what a wonderful office experience they had!

Finally, the solution to the ‘new patient curse’

Martin Wright May 3rd, 2009

Paperwork, loads and loads of paperwork! That’s what goes through the mind of many doctors in private practice without a virtual medical office receptionist when a new patient walks in the door. Of course there is the initial excitement of your practice growing but then the reality sinks in a short time after that.

There is a routine common to every new patient visiting a privately owned medical practice for the first time. The paperwork and the processing involved is time consuming and can be cumbersome for both patients and medical staff. Patients have to fill forms that allow the release of information, insurance forms, forms about their medical history and HIPAA agreements. If your practice is receiving a steady flow of new patients and you would like this trend to continue, do not let the paperwork overwhelm you and your staff. It’s time to let technology work in your favor.

A virtual medical office receptionist will ease the burden of paperwork for both your patients and your staff. Your patients will especially enjoy the convenience of scheduling their own appointments with the help of a medical assistant online. What’s more they can do this from the comfort of their homes as opposed to spending several hours in a medical reception.

A remote receptionist service allows new patients to enter their insurance information and other medical history into a HIPAA compliant website. This virtual receptionist saves you the cumbersome task of having to cross check the new patient’s health insurance to ensure that it can be accepted at your practice. A virtual medical office receptionist will do the cross checking of the new patient’s insurance as well as ensure that the HMO that covers the patient approves you as a physician. When the patient is sure that their visit will be covered by their health insurance they can go ahead and schedule an appointment.

Your remote receptionist service will also act as a backup receptionist. In any busy medical practice a front desk receptionist is required to attend to patients waiting in the lounge as well as answer phone calls. This can be cumbersome and your medical office assistant may not be able to work efficiently enough. A virtual medical office assistant can greatly ease this burden. When your regular receptionist is busy attending to the needs of patients waiting in the lounge, the backup receptionist can answer any incoming phone calls. This remote receptionist service can assist both old and new patients in scheduling appointments. The virtual receptionist will forward any calls that are of a more complex nature. Your regular receptionist will also be spared the burden of having to assist new patients in filling out bulky forms, processing and filling them.

Remote receptionist services are also 24/7 backup receptionists. Patients can call any time of the day to schedule appointments or log in online to do the same.

Many doctors reading this may be tempted to shrug off the idea of a virtual medical office assistant as an unnecessary luxury. It is a necessity to those who want their practice to run efficiently. Once you give the virtual receptionist a try you will be left wondering how you ever got by without it in the first place.