Patient Appointment Scheduling – Time Keeping Isn’t Just A “Patient Thing”

July 16th, 2011

Good time keeping and scheduling isn’t just about patients arriving for their doctor appointment on time: Or indeed entirely about them actually arriving at all. It is also down to good time-management of the doctor and his staff: In short good medical practice management which relies much upon efficient patient appointment scheduling. For most people having a “good” doctor is not just about having a competent physician able to deal with their medical needs in a professional manner: It is also about the doctor being available for that patient within acceptable time frames. This might well include emergency care also. And why shouldn’t they expect this? It is no more than anyone deserves per se.

Online patient appointment scheduling systems rarely need any in-house installations of specialist hardware; nor do they require maintenance. Pen and paper scheduling is comparatively messy and unreliable: Rescheduling appointments, squeezing the bookings etc can lead to mistakes which in turn will lead to disorganization and delays.

Improved Communication

Online and automated systems can actually improve communication. Patients are not left hanging on the end of a phone and invariably will have the option to make their doctor appointment online. Many advanced systems can also ensure than reminder calls are made: Even send reminders via SMS as well call and send emails. This keeps patients and doctors in touch 24/7 – This is ‘good’ communication. Reminder calls have proven to reduce no-shows and yet are rarely prioritized: If staff have time they are made: If the front desk is busy they are not. Of course patients should take priority. However, when an automated scheduling system can deal with them routinely and easily this somewhat haphazard ‘system’ is not a cost-effective way to deal with patient appointment reminder calls – Comparatively speaking.

Efficient and Cost Effective

If a medical practice has a inefficient appointment scheduling system this can affect the availability of the doctor – No-shows are lost appointments which means patients are left waiting for an appointment longer than they have to. In addition patients left in waiting for too long does little for patient-doctor relations. Nerves become frayed and this kind of inefficiency does little for confidence. Automated patient appointment scheduling systems are efficient and cost-effective: Helping doctors and patients achieve good time management and so deliver and receive a high standard of care – Hence so many of the major health organizations are taking them on board to keep standards high and costs low: Indeed, a very good thing….

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