Psychiatrist New Year’s Resolution: Get an online scheduler

December 5th, 2008


As psychiatrists contemplate what changes to make in their practices, an online scheduler should be at the top of the list for consideration. This resolution is not just one that would help them personally and professionally, it would also be an outstanding service opportunity for patients and employees. An automated scheduling software tool allows the psychiatrist to offer prospects and patients the ability to schedule appointments through the web, and it also presents an automated way to send important email reminders.

Web-based business transactions are growing. After remaining stagnant for a while, internet business has doubled as a portion of total business sales since 2006. In 2006, the internet accounted for about three percent of all sales. As of late 2008, the internet generated six percent of sales. Internet sales are also growing at a 20-25 percent annual rate, a trend that most analysts expect to continue. Why is this happening? Many credit the strong growth in internet business to more creative internet marketing from non-internet based businesses.

Industries, like transportation, hospitality, and yes, healthcare, have recognized the growing trend and the opportunity to generate traffic and sales through a new channel. Though psychiatrists deliver their services in an office, they can reach out to new prospects and book appointments through a web-based doctor appointment scheduling solution. There are definitely advantages to using the solution, and the benefits affect the psychiatrist, his staff, and patients.

Patients are the ones using the web who should be targeted with the efficient ability to schedule appointments online. With an online scheduler, busy people can make appointments on the web 24/7 and avoid the hassle of calling and getting a busy signal, being left no hold, or dealing with a stressed and overworked receptionist. With an automated appointment scheduler, the patient is able to quickly setup an appointment using the customized scheduler available to providers to use. Using the advanced security measures delivered by a top solution, the patient also shares a bit of personal data, including an email address when scheduling. This provides the psychiatrist with patient data that can be backed up, used for follow up and appointment reminder emails, and used other marketing and operational needs.

Receptionists appreciate the online scheduler as well. Patients schedule via the web allows receptionists to focus on personalized care, complex phone calls, insurance paperwork, and other important office management tasks. The reduction in stress and burden makes receptionists more satisfied and effective.

Finally, the psychiatric practices benefits from the business benefits of the online scheduler. The technology offers an efficient connection to a large audience. A good online scheduler comes with a moderate up front investment and requires little to no ongoing maintenance. The modest cost and maintenance combined with the enhanced customer service and employee morale create a great value. Plus, the ability to deliver email reminders helps reduce patient no-shows and improves revenue generation. This is more effective than a receptionist half-heartedly or while exhausted, making reminder phone calls.

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