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.

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