Archive for June, 2010

Slash Patient No-Shows Through Automated Appointment Reminder

June 30th, 2010

“Failed appointments pose financial as well as administrative problems for residency practices. Proactive reminder systems are needed to promote patient attendance.” Concludes a study carried out to determine the effects of patient no-shows at clinics. The study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information showed that cancellations and no-shows covered 31.1% of scheduled appointments and gobbled up 32.2% of scheduled time. This results in a revenue shortfall of between 3% and 14% within one year.

Time and money: effects of no-shows at a family practice residency clinic

This study shows the seriousness of no-shows in any medical practice. Therefore, you cannot afford to take it for granted. You need to set up a good patient appointment reminder system to help your patients and your business. Most of the patient no-shows are as a result of the patients forgeting about their appoinments for one reason or another.

The secret here is the word good. There are very many reminder services in the market, and not all of them will suit your purposes. So, what constitutes a good reminder program?

The reminder software you are using helps you to get in touch with your patients in the best way possible. This means that it needs to have a way of reaching all types of people, hence it should get in touch with the patients in a variety of ways, including:

Telephone

Telephone is a very good way of getting in touch with many people. An automated telephone reminder is especially suitable for the elderly who do not often use the newer modes of communication.

You will cater to the needs of the patients who prefer using the telephone. However, you can still miss some people since not all people have installed an answering system in case they are away.

Email

Many people use email nowadays, which makes it a convenient way of reaching them. There are some people who use email as their main mode of communication.

If your reminder software uses email alone, however, you will not serve every person well. In addition, the prevalence of spam mail has resulted in spam filters that can inadvertently send your reminders to the spam folders.

Text message

Apart from the fact that very many people use cell phones, text messages have the added advantage that you will reach your patients wherever they are. This is an especially good choice for busy individuals who travel often.

However, the patients have to pay for the text messages.

Your patient reminder service should therefore include all these options. Preventing just one no-show in a month suffices to cover your subscription.

My Observation on Online Patient Appointment Scheduling System

June 27th, 2010

Last week, I visited one of my friends who is a general practitioner. I was surprised seeing him as happiest person and could not believe that he was the one who always shouted at his medical front office staff for every second reason! The only thing he did was turning his medical office automated using online patient appointment scheduler. I wondered about its feature and system’s capability to tackle multiple tasks in day-to-day medical management.

As my friend explained, online patient appointment scheduler –also known as online doctor appointment scheduling system is the best tool to schedule patients’ appointments without involving human medical front office executive. In other words, web based online appointment system serves as virtual receptionist that serves all sort of duties without any hassles.

The features I liked about the system is its capability to send the entire data/content to Google Calendar using Google Synchronization mode. The data can be accessed using handheld devices such as Blackberry, iPhone and Smartphone –no matter where we are! A two-way synchronization is advanced feature that allows us to modify or reschedule the appointments without giving instructions to the medical front office executives at our clinics.

A doctor can use online doctor appointment scheduler as medical answering system wherein it answers patients’ calls without getting them boring busy tone. Also, it can answer more than one patient at a time! What else we require during big events such as free medical camp where the center is flooded with patients calls?

As I read about online doctor appointment scheduler cum medical answering system, I came to know that we can also use the system as patient reminder! The system can automatically call patients and remind them about their forthcoming visits to the health care center for body tests, follow ups etc. Furthermore, the system can be set as per doctor’s expertise. A multilingual option is very useful tackling foreigners as patients as the system can work in different languages such as French, Chinese and Spanish.

Certainly, I would like to use this wonderful system that serves as virtual medical receptionists. Why to opt for more staff when you have an all-in-one medical office helper?

Medical Answering System –A multitasking medical management tool

June 22nd, 2010

Gadgets and software have changed our lives from complicated to simple! The task that involved a lot of calculations took too much time before to get done but with revolutionary computer machines, now we can perform it in seconds or minutes. For medical practice, medical answering system is the best example of cutting edge technology that helps not only in tackling patients but can also serve as medical virtual receptionist.

Medical virtual receptionist is far better than human medical front office executives as the former does not get tired or does not take decision driven by emotions! Also, it can get you 24/7 service without any hassles. The system with medical answering service comes with multilingual options wherein the health care provider can set languages (French, English (default), and Chinese etc) for better communication with foreigners as patients. Also, the system can be tuned and used as per doctor’s expertise.

When it comes to multitasking at medical office, specially designed medical answering system wins the race! It can be used as patient reminder tool wherein it can automatically call patients and inform them about their due visits to the center for various reasons such as body tests, follow-ups etc. Also, the patients can be reminded about their dietary plan and any regimen as suggested by doctors.

The best part of medical answering cum patient reminder system is its capability to serve as medical virtual front desk manager. It can book patients appointments without any human front desk staff’s interference. Called as online patient appointment scheduler, the system allows patients to book their appointments online (using web) from anywhere, anytime! Advanced online doctor appointment scheduling system can synchronize with Google Calendar that sends the entire schedule of patients to Google account automatically. You, as a user, can access the schedule from handheld devices such as Smartphone, iPhone or Blackberry. Furthermore, a two-way Google Calendar Synchronization allows you to reschedule the appointments without communicating with receptionist or staff at health care center. This feature of medical answering system is very useful for the medical practitioners who frequently travel out of their town.

All the benefits apart, medical answering cum online patient appointment scheduler can reduce the chances of loss of revenue to the center because of no-show cause patients (the ones who booked their appointments but never turned or turned late wasting needy patients’ time). An option called Prepaid patient scheduler asks for the consultation fees in advance and hence, patients are very likely to arrive on time.

Using patient reminder cum medical answering service is like hiring perfect manager for medical management.

Online Appointment Scheduler that Enables you Managing Clinic in Best Way

June 22nd, 2010

If you are not aware of what all tools are available on the market for better clinic (or medical office) management, it is high time to look into it and learn what you might have been missing since years! Specially designed online doctor appointment scheduler is a kind of virtual medical receptionist that not only tackles multiple tasks required in day-to-day medical office management, but can also help you generating more revenue without compromising the service quality.

In the field of medical practice, the management of scheduling the patients’ appointments, answering patients’ calls, reminding them about their diet and other regimens suggested by health care providers do matter to build good relationship. Online patient appointment scheduling software is the best way to deal with all things listed here.

Making medical office automated using online appointment scheduling system is useful to arrange the time allotted to patients to see the concerned health care provider. The patients can log in to the system and book their time slot according to their convenience without contacting the human medical front office executive. In this way, chances of miscommunication and time overlapping are reduced. A unique feature called Google Synchronization enables the user (you, as a doctor) to access the patients’ schedules online! The system synchronizes with Google Calendar and sends the data into your account that you can access using handheld devices such as Blackberry, iPhone and Smartphone. Also, a two-way synchronization allows you to reschedule the appointments as per your plan for the day or coming week.

Another features that come with virtual receptionist (online doctor appointment scheduling system) are its use as patient reminding system and medical answering tool. Setting the system as patient reminder can make you free from informing patients and reminding them about their diet, forthcoming visits to the clinic as it is done automatically by the system. Also, medical answering helps you to answer patients’ calls without any hassle. No caller would get busy tone in spite of all calling at the same time. You can also use multilingual function (setting it in different languages such as French, Chinese and Spanish etc).

Using Online Patient Appointment Scheduler cum Patient Reminder System is indeed a great step toward smooth and effective medical office management.

Multiple Use of Medical Virtual Receptionist

June 12th, 2010

You, being a doctor, might be treating a lot of people’s headaches but then, there are some occasions giving you headache of managing the medical office seems to be difficult to cure! The human staff present at medical front desk is after all human and driven by emotions and physical limitations such as tiredness, frustration and apathy. Using Online Appointment Scheduler, you can manage the medical office in much efficient way without any hassles.

Online Appointment Scheduler, also known as Online Patient/Doctor Appointment Scheduling System, is the best tool available for medical office automation. Using this, the patients can fix their appointments without calling human front office executives at health care center. All they need is logging in to the system and select the time when they find convenience. Without any time overlaps, the appointments are fixed and scheduled perfectly. In advanced system, the prepaid option asks patients to pay consultation fees in advance and hence, the revenue loss for the center due to no-show patients is prevented.

Another feature that comes with online doctor appointment is a Google Calendar Synchronization wherein the system ends the entire data (patient appointments’ schedule) to Google Account that you, having handheld devices (iPhone, Smartphone or Blackberry), can access it from anywhere and anytime! Furthermore, a two-way Google Synchronization allows you to reschedule the appointments without contacting the staff at your center. Nevertheless, the patients can view this change and save their time.

Other benefit that comes with Online Doctor Appointment Scheduler is it can be used as patient reminder wherein it can call patients automatically and inform them about their forthcoming visits to the clinic. Also, they can be informed about body tests and reminded about their regimen and diet as suggested by concerned health care provider. Many health care providers who won the system use it as medical answering system too! Tuning the system as medical answering, patients’ calls can be answered without getting them busy tones. A multilingual (French, Chinese, and English etc) option can be set for a better communication with foreigners as patients.

All in all, online doctor appointment scheduler not only helps in generating revenues but makes overall medical management better.

Avoid Free Schedulers – Get One With Complete Features

June 8th, 2010

If you have a clinic and are looking for a suitable online scheduler, one thing is certain: you will get numerous options. This, however, does not necessarily mean that you will have an easy time in making the right choice. You will find both free and paid online appointment schedulers. As attractive as the offer may appear, you should avoid the free schedulers.

There are many important factors why you need to keep away from the free schedulers. Let us take a look at just two reasons that will show you the free offers are not the best option.

They are not really free

When you sign up for a free scheduler, you will believe that it is really free in the beginning simply because you will not fork out anything from your pocket. However, this is misleading. Have you ever asked yourself how the owners maintain the services?

Perhaps you have read – or you will read – that they have other means of generating money, so they are simply being generous. This is a lot of hot air. First of all, advertising the free online schedulers takes time and money. Why would they do this?

The real reason is that it is from these apparently free web-based doctor appointment services that they generate their revenue. They will simply sell your data. This is a serious violation of patient privacy that you will need to answer for in a court of law. It will also be a violation of the HIPAA. Even if your run a small business where privacy is not as sensitive as for medical practice,  using a “free” scheduler will eventually cost your business relationship with the customers; they are likely to be scared away as soon as they realized that their phone, address, and email are being used without their consent.

Lack of suitable features

The free online appointment schedulers will also cost your business in other ways. You will get very limited features that do not leave you with many options. For example, a good self-service patient appointment scheduling program will give your patients the flexibility to make their appointments independently while you still have control over what goes on. The patients will do this in a variety of ways depending on their personal tastes.

Telephone service will be of help to many people, particularly the elderly. The online option will be a good option for the tech savvy individuals. SMS service gives you the opportunity to reach people wherever they may be, which is a good option for busy people who move frequently.

Another important factor is that a suitable online scheduler will include a reminder service. This alone is enough to pay for your subscription. Avoiding just one patient no-show per month suffices to cater for your subscription.

Make Your Clinic Automated With Online Appointment Scheduler

June 6th, 2010

Today one can see that all sectors are highly influenced by technology and this time it is the health care sector. Most of these centers are making use of advanced tools and technologies to make their services better and better. One of the most popular tools being used by health care sector is online appointment scheduler. Once you buy it you can easily realize how efficient it is and how it can improve the overall condition of your clinic. This scheduler automates almost all processes in your clinic and offers manifold benefits that one cannot just resist.

Firstly, the scheduler can answer to the calls from patients when your clinic is closed or when everyone is busy with something else. The scheduler has been designed in a smart way so that it can answer to the queries of patients in a very natural tone without making them feel that they are talking to some computerized program. It takes care of your appointments and if any patient makes changes to its appointment then the doctor can directly get the notifications on his blackberry or any other smart phone. The scheduler plans appointments very efficiently and this will help your clinic in earning more revenues.

Secondly, it makes reminder calls to patients reminding of their appointments and this result in decreased or in fact negligible no show-up rate. This will again prevent loss or revenue and you can enjoy with the fact that your clinic is not losing any money because of others. In addition to all this when you start using it your customers will also be happy with it. They can easily fix up their appointments without waiting for long. They do not need to leave messages on voice calls and can quickly fix the appointments. Some online schedulers have the facility of prepaid appointments where patients need to pay some money in advance to fix their appointment. It can be your choice to ask the entire amount or some partial amount of fees when giving them appointment.

In all we can say that an online appointment scheduler can efficiently take over the work of all your staff when they are not around or your clinic is off. By using it, your clinic works 24 x 7 and both you and your clients will be happy. To buy the scheduler you can again take help from internet and can check out different schedulers. The companies offer trial versions and after getting satisfied with the services you can actually buy it.