Lisa West October 30th, 2011
Medical appointment scheduling software is becoming an integral part of medical practice management today. If you, like many are looking for appointment scheduling software there are some important points to consider when choosing from the ever-expanding choice of software and systems available. The software and systems available differ concerning the features they offer.
Online or In-house
One of the major points to consider is whether to opt for an online system or install the software in-house. Online medical appointment scheduling systems have many advantages over in-house software. Primarily, online systems do not require updates, which can be frequent and expensive. In addition, if they do actually go wrong your staff does not have to deal with it. Indeed, an online scheduler is maintenance free. Online appointment scheduling also gives medical practitioners and staff access via any internet connection or mobile device. This makes networking much easier and streamlined. Some medical appointments scheduling software has a restricted license, which can push up the cost. If you are considering purchasing appointment scheduling software, find out how many computers are licensed to run on that software and ensure it is enough to meet your requirements.
Is the Software User-Friendly?
If the idea is to take the pressure of the front desk the appointment scheduling software, you choose needs to be user-friendly. Your staff is not going to be enthralled if they are faced with a complicated program. The last thing anyone needs is more hassle and headaches. Some companies offer a free trial, which can be extremely useful. It gives staff a chance to try out the features and the user interface before buying. Not all the appointment scheduling software available has the same features. Indeed, if the software is not specifically designed with medical practitioners on mind then it may well not have the features your staff need. In addition, it may not be HIPPA compliant and that could put your practice in hot water.
Try Before You Buy
The features available vary significantly. Some online schedulers can deal with emergency calls, new patients, pre-paid appointments, patient appointment reminder calls as well as provide 24/7 appointment scheduling for patients. With so many options, trying out the software or the online scheduler before making any commitment is definitely a step in the right direction to making the right decision.
Lisa West October 22nd, 2011
There are paid and free online scheduler services available online. Regardless of whether paid or free the features of each online appointment scheduler will vary. Beta versions may have the features. However, one should tread carefully. Beta Release software has never been use outside of the company who developed it before – A Beta version is what you might call a “test run” version. This can mean all sorts of setbacks with bugs and waiting around for fixes. As a result, usability might not be what it should be – As in, appointment scheduling software should solve your patient appointment scheduling problems. Beta appointment scheduling might be free but it could well create more issues than it solves. Another disadvantage of a free online appointment scheduler is that your customers information may be sold on to third party companies: A kind of “payment in lieu” – As they say, there is no such thing as a free lunch. This of course would be a privacy issue for most.
One of the major differences between automated appointment scheduling software and systems is whether they are hosted online or installed onsite. Automated appointment scheduling (Auto-dialers) have been available for many years. The new generation of appointment scheduling software and systems are much more sophisticated and advanced in comparison. It should not be necessary to install expensive hardware or spend time installing software. This is a somewhat “old hat” and primitive way of dealing with patient appointment scheduling today. A hosted online scheduler is accessible via the internet whenever required – 24/7. Onsite appointment scheduling software is vulnerable to corruption and viruses. Maintenance and repair can be an expensive business. In addition, software updates (usually inevitable) also pushes up the service cost. Online systems are maintained and updated by the service provider. This ensure your patient appointment scheduling system stays online and efficient as well as cost effective.
Try A Test Run
Automated appointment scheduling software can provide a cost-effective solution to patient appointment scheduling. Automating appointment scheduling frees up front-desk staff allowing them to deal with more “at-hand” and “on-hand” tasks. This can help to improve the level of care patient´s receive without having to take on additional staff. More and more health organizations are utilizing automated appointment scheduling systems. A free trial helps to assess which features are the most important to you: Try some first before making any commitment.
Lisa West October 15th, 2011
An online scheduler is a fully automated powerful software system devised to deal with patient appointment scheduling. Patients can book, cancel and reschedule a doctor appointment 24/7 online. Features vary from system to system: Most are able to carry out patient reminder calls as well as deal with appointment scheduling saving medical staff precious time. Often reminder calls are omitted simply because medical staff do not have time to make them – In the long run this is not usually a cost-effective approach. Patient reminder calls have proven to reduce no-shows. Therefore, if the medical practice´s no-show averages are currently high, ensuring the calls are made via an automated online scheduler will usually reduce the averages.
Everyone has their limitations and for the most human error is (as they say) “inevitable”- Even the most experienced and fastidious medical receptionist is capable of making a mistake. In addition, everyone has their physical limitations: An automated patient appointment scheduler can work 24/7 without even a coffee break! During busy periods patients might well call to make a doctor appointment and be greeted by the busy tone. An automated appointment scheduling system can be used to deal with calls to the front desk 24/7 or it can be used to back up the front desk during busy periods. The systems can deal with multiple calls which means patients are able to get through much faster and some can even deal with multiple languages: Which reduces the chance of “miss-communication”.
An automated online scheduler can help to improve the day-to-day management of a medical practice as well as boost revenue by reducing no-shows. While these systems are able to deal with “human tasks” the time and costs involved do not equal that of human staff. Indeed, many sole practitioners as well as larger health organizations find automated appointment scheduling more cost-effective than employing staff to deal with the same tasks. How can a patient appointment online scheduler help? Invariably it can help improve overall medical practice management and so help improve the standard of services. It can also help expanding practices do so efficiently and cost effectively.
Lisa West October 8th, 2011
The myriad of administrative problems associated with patient appointment scheduling – from appointment scheduling errors, no-shows as well as unneeded, excess communication – can create multiple headaches for receptionists, medical staff and doctors: As well as patients. Any and all of these “glitches” can notably affect overall medical practice management and so the care and services provided to patients – Consistent problems can also create excessive stress upon the front desk: Often leading to more problems. Indeed patient appointment scheduling can create an ongoing domino affect which ultimately loses time and so money.
Working In Real Time
Web-based doctor appointment scheduling systems are being utilized all over the world today by many doctors as well as medical practitioners and health-care organizations such as Massage Therapists and Chiropractors, Personal Trainers and Health & Fitness centers. Access to web-based doctor appointment systems is available to all parties (Doctor, Patient, Receptionist,Medical Staff) and professional systems work in ´real-time´: Thus avoiding the confusion caused by double-booking – Invariably a notable possibility/problem when integrating schedules for multiple practitioners and/or multiple practices.
Web-based automated appointment scheduling systems can also ensure doctor appointment reminder calls are made on time every time. Reminder calls are a proven strategy to reduce no-show averages and yet so often they are omitted: Usually because staff simply do not have time. An automated doctor appointment scheduling system can keep track and make those all important calls. Patients can also go online to confirm, change or cancel their doctor appointment. By working in real-time the system can quickly and accurately reallocate canceled appointments 24/7. This one feature in itself can deem these systems to be very cost-effective.
Is It Economically Viable For You?
Standardizing your patient appointment scheduling processes can help overall medical practice management: Therefore improve the services and care provided to patients. The time (and so money) so often saved by avoiding errors and reducing the time spent on this administrative overhead – as well as ensuring patient appointment reminder calls are made – has made web-based doctor appointment scheduling an economically viable option for sole practitioners as well as large organizations. Finding a system that is suitable for your individual needs is most important: And the best way to find out exactly what they are (as well as what they are not) is to try them out.
Lisa West October 3rd, 2011
Ensuring patients’ doctor appointments are well organized is not just important for doctors and medical staff: It is also very important to patients. A disorganized medical practice does not bode well to new patients and can drive people to seek treatment elsewhere.
Overbooking to counteract no-shows is a strategy some doctors use to ensure time is not lost: Time is money and no-shows can be costly if the averages are high. And this can create a certain “state of balance” for some medical practitioners who do no have high no-show averages. Even so, consistently overbooking can generally cause as many problems as it solves – When the no-shows “show” patients are left waiting in reception. There is another way. Doctor appointment scheduling software and systems can not only deal with scheduling a patient´s doctor appointment: Automated appointment scheduling systems (primarily web-based doctor appointment scheduling software) can also deal with patient appointment reminders.
Online Doctor Appointment Scheduling
Web-based doctor appointment scheduling software provides 24/7 patient scheduling. This can help to take the pressure off the front desk: AND it can be a welcome service with patients. Web-based systems can send patient appointment reminders by SMS and email as well as carry out an automated call. The patient has the opportunity to confirm their doctor appointment, reschedule or cancel. The stats show time and time again that appointment reminders can notably reduce no-show percentages. The problem is often finding the time. With an automated appointment scheduling system in place the reminders will be sent on time ever time.
Patient & Doctor Benefits
Patients benefit from an organized and accessible doctor appointment scheduling system 24/7. Ensuring those reminder calls are made helps to lower no-show averages which means doctors do not have to “cover the angles” by overbooking. In turn by lowering no-shows “in real terms” patients can be seen quicker and not left “clock watching” in the waiting room – Lowering no-shows is therefore beneficial for doctors and patients. Web-based doctor appointment scheduling software has proven to be efficient and cost-effective for sole medical practitioners as well as larger organizations. Web-based appointment scheduling software varies. What suits you most will depend on the features your medical practice needs to keep organized. Why not try one and find out?