Free Online Medical Appointment Scheduling – A Good Choice?

July 28th, 2012

One of the first questions many medical practitioners have concerning automated appointment scheduling is; what is the difference between free and paid online services? At first glance one might think very little, as many of the basic features are offered by both. However, there is often a huge difference when you read between the lines – The contract lines that is! They say nothing in life is free: And this is often true with regards to online appointment scheduling software.

The Cost of Free Software
Generally free software has it´s own price, and that is data. Often the company providing the free service will require access to certain data – Perhaps for research, perhaps to pass on to third parties for example. While it is not a legal requirement for medical appointment scheduling software to be HIPAA compliant, medical practitioners are bound by HIPAA regulations. Aside from this, one must ask oneself if allowing patient details (even the simplest information such as name, age and email) is ethical. Surely, safeguarding their information is something patient should expect. Using HIPAA compliant “paid” online appointment scheduling systems, patient information remains safe and secure.

The Benefits
Single medical practitioners as well as large health corporations can benefit from using an automated appointment scheduling system. Paid for scheduling software can ease the workload of staff cost-effectively. Patient appointment scheduling is essential. However, it can (somewhat un-neccesarily)consume much of your staff´s time. Automated systems can deal with patient appointments 24/7 as well as reminder calls. No-shows cost medical establishments millions of dollars a year. Reminder calls have proven to reduce no-shows and yet they are often omitted: Staff simply do not have time to make them. An automated system can be scheduled to make patient reminder calls on time every time.

Medical appointment scheduling software can ease the workload on the front desk cost-effectively. Because staff have more time to deal with patients, customer services can be improved overall. For hard of hearing patients being able to go on line gives them independence: They do not have to rely on anyone else to make their patient appointment. The internet is becoming an integral part of modern life. Providing an online 24/7 service gives patient´s what they want: Convenience! In a modern world people do not want to be left hanging on the end of a line. In a modern world people expect more – So give them more with 24/7 online appointment scheduling services.

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