Office Automation – How to Reduce No-Shows Cost Effectively

July 14th, 2012

Appointment scheduling software can automate the way your patients book an appointment, saving staff´s precious time for more stringent asks. Dealing with the public can be particularly demanding; dealing with the public when they are unwell, even more-so. Office automation of routine tasks is saving businesses millions. While appointment scheduling is essential for medical practitioners (as it is for many professionals such as dentists, hairdressers and personal trainers for example), it is a routine task that requires few skills. Even so, that´s not to say mistakes cannot be made. In a busy medical practice front desk staff can spend much of their day simply answering the phone and scheduling appointments. Mistakes happen simply because too many demands are being made upon the front desk. After all, they are only human! However, automated appointment scheduling is not, which means it is not prone to ´human error´. Not only can machines multi-task beyond any human being, machines do not become stressed, nor do they need a break. Automated appointment scheduling softare can deal ith multiple calls 24/7, 365 days of the year: And it can do it with ease….

How To Reduce No-Shows

Research indicates that reminding patients of an up and coming doctor appointment helps to reduce no-shows. Traditionally, reminder calls are made by front-desk staff or cards are posted: Both are extremely time consuming – Hence, in a busy medical practice reminder calls are often omitted: Staff simply do not have time. Employing staff to deal with patient appointment scheduing is an expensive option compared to utilising automated software. Modern appointment scheduling software can make reminder calls on time everytime, and it can make them cost-effectively. Features vary. However, more advanced online systems can also send patient appointment reminders via email and SMS. In addition, with an online system in place, patients are able to go online and reschedule or cancel their appointment. Making things easy and convenient for both patients (as well as staff ) is a step in the right direction with regards to reducing stress as well as reducing no-shows.

Paid or Free?
As they say, there is no such thing in life as a “free lunch”! Many free appointment scheduling systems do pass on users information to third parties… at a price. Passing on certain patient information may not be appropriate, nor welcomed by those patients and indeed, may not be HIPPA complaint. Paid for services that are HIPPA compliant are more secure as well as more private.

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