My Medical Appointment Book: Both Digital and Mobile

March 24th, 2009

I had recently switched my practice over to an online appointment system and it was great, really great. My patients were able to make appointments online and I was able to access my schedule, just by logging on to the service. It eliminated the need for a medical receptionist (not my choice at first, but I was able to adjust because of the software). Because this freed up overhead costs, I was able to pay my medical technicians and medical coders a little more. That meant a happy staff, fewer staffing headaches and increased revenue.

The only drawback (and I hate to complain because it was really working well) of this appointment system was that I could not access the software remotely. That part was okay, but not great. I was driving back and forth a lot between lecturing and rounds at the hospital, and I wanted to be able to check on my schedule using my cell phone (I do not advocate driving and using the cell phone, but I sometimes do at red lights). Right around the time I was starting to wish I had the flexibility of fully remote access, the medical receptionist software that I used came out with that very feature.

In a single, affordable program I have a web-based appointment system with mobile access. Perhaps the best part is that I have the option to sync my schedules to Google Calendar. I can immediately see how my clinic schedule and university schedule will potentially overlap with my (pitifully small, but growing) personal schedule.

I am a little embarrassed to admit that when I first familiarized myself with the system I was worried that when the schedule synced with Google Calendar that it would overlap my personal obligations and meetings. In actuality the software allows me to protect time so that it cannot be overtaken by patient-scheduled appointments.

If you do not have an automated message and scheduling system, consider all of the features that I have in my system right now: 24/7 answering service, appointment scheduling that is “self serve” online or over the phone, an appointment reminder that is completely mobile now and that I can sync with Google Calendar and access it from my mobile phone. I could not be happier with the service. I was able to eliminate my “live” answering service (they could not triage phone calls, this software can!) and my medical receptionists (nice people, they were just not very reliable). By cutting these two things out of my budget I was actually able to increase productivity and patient satisfaction. It seems that my patients like to use Web-based services even more than phone (though they can still call into the system if they wish).

I am beginning to forget what life was like before I had this fully automated service and I hope to soon forget how much of a drag it was not to be able to access remotely or from my phone. If you are looking to enhance the efficiency of your medical practice, you simply must investigate automated appoitnment scheduling software.

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