Online Patient Appointment Scheduling – Is It What Your Patients Want?

June 2nd, 2012

Some of the largest health associations in the US have successfully utilized automated online appointment scheduling software to deal with the task of patient appointments. These systems are highly efficient, which makes them a cost effective way to provide a 24/7 appointment scheduling service to patients. Today, people are ever more comfortable with the internet. Figures suggest a growing majority of people will primarily look for the services and products they need online: Personal banking, payment of utility bills, you name it, it can probably be purchased or paid online. Indeed, in some ways this has become the norm with regards to customer expectations – Particularly with regards to banks, shops, services etc

Taking Control
The Wall street Journal and Medical Economics have researched into whether adults feel online patient appointment scheduling is advantageous: And for the majority it seems the answer is yes; they do consider online scheduling to be advantageous. In a fast paced world of iPads, iPods & Blackberrys online scheduling gives patients more choices and so more control. Being available 24/7 it is convenient. Patients can make a medical appointment after hours with ease. For the hard-of-hearing, being able to make an appointment online can be particularly convenient: No need to rely on anyone else to make the call.

The Human Factor
Your receptionist may be extremely efficient and adept at dealing with patients. Nevertheless, they are human, to which they are as susceptable to “bad days” – Should we say, we all suffer from the human “factor”. That is, we are apt to making mistakes when rushed and feeling harrassed. The simple fact is, appointment scheduling software never has “attitude”: And it never sleeps. Patient appointment reminders have proven to reduce no-shows. However, during busy periods they often get omitted, purely because staff do not have time to make the calls. An automated online appointment scheduling system can generate patient appointment reminder calls automatically – On time, every time.

Overall automated appointment scheduling can free up your staff giving them time to deal with other tasks, which are better served by the “human factor”. Streamlining patient scheduling can help your medical practice perfom more efficiently and in this way it is a cost-effective option. Appointment scheduling is essential. Even so, it can be an overwhelming task in a busy medical practice. Most patients want to be able to make a doctor appointment with ease… and quickly! And, according to the research most adults welcome online appointment scheduling – So the question is, are you giving your patients what they want?

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