Lisa West December 25th, 2011
Automated patient appointment reminder systems have proven to reduce no-show averages. However, before investing in appointment scheduling software it is beneficial to thoroughly assess the scheduling history of your practice to ensure the software will actually meet its needs. If you analyze the scheduling history of your practice patterns of behavior will invariably emerge. Your front desk staff will be able to provide vital information too; concerning those patients who will consistently show up late or cancel their doctor appointment literally two minutes before the scheduled time.
Know Your Patients
You might also notice that ´busy periods´ seemingly fluctuate but in actual fact, there might well be a ´distinct pattern´: To which an automated back-up system, able to deal with patient appointment calls during those busy periods might well be a worthwhile feature to have. There are many different appointment scheduling software and systems available. Web-based medical appointment scheduling systems can be extremely advanced and offer a multitude of features. Of course, you may not need them all! What is important is to ensure you DO opt for one that actually meets your needs. Therefore, it is in your interest to take a good long look at why and when no-shows are happening and which patients are predictable in behavior. Understanding your patient´s behavior can be literally money in the bank…
Automated Solutions Aside
An automated scheduling system can keep the pressure off the front desk during busy periods as well as outside surgery hours. Many of these systems do have an automated reminder feature, which can go a long way to helping lower no-show averages. Even so, some patients need to be more ´personally´ encouraged to understand, they are costing your practice money: And most importantly, it has a negative affect upon patient care – Theirs included!
When cancelling medical appointments has become routine for your patient it is time to speak to that patient confidentially. Unfortunately, no automated system (to date) is able to teach patients that routine cancelling of medical appointments is bad manners and bad for healthcare. As they say, for some jobs, man is better than machine!
Medical appointment scheduling software today is advanced and extremely reliable: Certainly more reliable than paper and pen even in the hands of the most experienced receptionist.
Lisa West December 25th, 2011
Regardless of how organized your current patient appointment scheduling system might seem to be, if it is based on the paper and pen then it can invariably be better: Invariably, in comparison to paper and pen, even the most basic web-based online scheduler with help to improve services. There are several reasons why that is:
Availability – A web-based online scheduler is available to doctors, staff and patients 24/7: Improving communications as well as availability without significantly raising costs.
Consistency – Automated patient appointment scheduling does not have “bad days”. It can multi-task beyond any human capacity, consistently and swiftly. In addition, with an automated system your patient´s can schedule, reschedule or cancel their appointment 24/7.
Accuracy – It is all too easy to make a mistake with the old paper and pen system: Especially if the front desk are busy. Mistakes made, particularly due to cancelled and rescheduled appointments, can leave your patient´s with an ´unscheduled´ wait on their hands: Or your doctors wit an empty slot which means lost revenue.
Need An Extra Pair of Hands?
Automated appointment scheduling can be utilized 24/7 online by patients, staff and doctors. The system can also be used to answer calls to the front desk, carry out patient reminder calls and advanced systems can even deal with emergency calls. During busy periods having an “extra pair of hands” available to deal with patient appointment scheduling can make all the difference to both staff and patients. You staff are free to deal with patients at the front desk and those wishing to schedule a doctor appointment are not left waiting on the end of a phone.
The features available depend upon how advanced the online system or software is. Most medical practitioners find the automated patient reminder feature invaluable. Reminder calls have proven to reduce no-shows. However, in a busy practice there simply is not always time. With an automated scheduler there is always time. Unquestionably, a cost-effective feature particularly for those with high no-show averages. A multi-lingual option is another feature which can help to keep the lines of communication clear: A true advantage for medical practitioners practicing in more cosmopolitan areas.
Lisa West December 10th, 2011
In recent years the capacity of online automated patient scheduling systems has progressed significantly. Indeed, the advanced systems and software available today has never been so reliable or efficient. Automated appointment scheduling has helped private practices, nursing homes, hospitals and specialist clinics throughout America and Canada to manage the daily administration of patient appointment scheduling – Enabling both private and corporate health organizations to become more efficient and so productive: Without lowering the standard of patient care or incurring significant costs. That is, the cost of an automated system will invariably be lower than hiring staff to deal with the same workload. After all, can anything multi-task like a machine? As they say, we are “only” human!
Liberate Your Staff
Automated 24/7 patient scheduling can help any practice or practitioner to improve services cost-effectively. Advanced patient appointment scheduling software allows patients to schedule their patient appointment 24/7, quickly and most importantly accurately. Your staff´s time is liberated, enabling them to deal with the more direct needs of patients: That is, those patients waiting at the front desk. No more “impatient, patients!”, left waiting on the end of the telephone line or at the front desk. Staff can simply switch to the automated system when they are under pressure or it can be utilized 24/7 – Online, web based appointment scheduling allows patients and doctors to access the system 24/7. Often, online systems do not require the installation of “specialist/specific” hardware on-site and is maintenance free. With just a monthly payment all your patient appointment scheduling “woes” can be resolved effectively as well as cost-effectively.
Which Features REALLY Matter?
There are many features available: Reminder calls, recurring patient appointments, pre-paid doctor appointments, cancellations, multi-lingual, customizations…. How do you know which features are important to the smooth running of your medical practice? And which are simply a ´flamboyant´ expense? One might even say, “gadgetry”. The easiest way to resolve this is test-drive the software. Quickly, your staff will be able to assess which features are most important and most effective. Without question, automated patient appointment scheduling has helped practitioners and practices across America to improve services cost-effectively. To which, there is no specific reason why appointment scheduling software cannot achieve the same for your practice.