Archive for the tag 'appointment scheduling'

A Simple Way of Running a Successful Medical Practice during This Recession

January 10th, 2009


‘Money is the root cause of all evil.’ Being flat broke should then be better, right? Well, don’t answer because I already have the answer to that. As the world painstakingly goes through the paces with a pulse whose strings gets tighter every day the outcry is almost everywhere. The number of people being laid off has reached some of its highest levels in recent times. Talk about foreclosures and that sends a shiver down the spines of many. It is not only here in the US but even on the sandy beaches of Seychelles, Mauritius and the Kenyan coast; people know there is something wrong with the economy.

Unfortunately almost all the sectors are affected; from the ones offering basic commodities to the luxurious services sectors. The medical profession also has had a fair share of its woes. People making appointments are on the decline as more people try to postpone or put off completely that appointment with the doctor that does not seem so necessary. For others the appointment is very necessary but the worries that characterize many lives today make them forget this important meeting with their doctor.

Sounds strange? Well, it should not as it has been shown through research that when you are worrying about something a lot you may forget some other important matters. People need a reminder service especially when many pressing matters are going through their minds.

As a doctor you may have noted that you are losing a lot of revenue from patient no-shows. Don’t watch as you business goes under especially when you know that your patient could be missing appointments out of forgetfulness. Invest in a reminder software or telephone reminder service. With this you can help both your practice and your patients.

You can even get a multilingual appointment reminder to cater for all your patients. Less will miss their appointments out of forgetfulness as they worry about other pressing matters.

Online appointment reminder software does not requires installation on your computer and it sends reminders automatically to all the patients that have an appointment with you at a certain date. The reminder software works in such away that the patient is well informed in good time that there is an upcoming appointment with the doctor. It helps the patient schedule things well in advance to avoid last minute rush. As the day nears the patient will still be reminded of the nearing appointment.

Your live receptionist can (although it is not necessary) physically call the patient to remind him of an appointment when it is due in a few hours, say under 24 hours. By doing this your staff will be freed from repetitive and sometimes boring duties. The phone reminder will do that as your staff engages in other more important matters that the soft ware can not carry out. Thus ensuring a more efficient practice and more satisfied patients!

Take advantage of this excellent reminder software today. See your practice maneuver through these difficult times but ensuring you reduce on the number of patients who don’t show up. Let the patient appointment reminder remind your clients to do business with you! Who would not want such kind of staff?

Good First Impressions

January 2nd, 2009

Shhhhh, the sound of static as you attempt to connect to the number you have just dialed. After a long wait there is the annoying tone of a busy line. You put down the receiver and try again. Shhhhhh, the sound of static once again as you wait for the connection to be made. Ring, ring, ring, finally you have managed to get through. “Hello,” says a pleasant voice on the other side of the line. “Hello, Dr. ……’s office, please hold.” La la la la ding la, the sound of music to keep you entertained as wait to be attended to.

Many patients seeking to arrange appointments with their physicians undergo similar experiences. Medical practices are normally very busy places. As an increased number of people discover the importance of keeping track of their health, the traffic to medical practices continues to grow steadily. Many people in today’s society recognize the importance of regular check ups for themselves as well as their families. This means booming business for your practice. It also means that your staff may be stretched in order to deliver the right services to your patients.

The telephone is usually the first contact a patient has with a medical practice. Many patients judge your medical practice based on how they were handled when they called to make an appointment. People like to feel appreciated and important. If your practice has a constant flow of patients, your staff maybe unable to keep track of patients waiting in the lobby as well as the constantly ringing phone. The pressures of the job may even get to them to the point that they may not attend to the patients and callers as well as they are supposed to.

So what can you do about this? Hire a virtual medical office receptionist.

With the services of a virtual medical receptionist at your disposal, you can be sure that your callers will receive the best service available. Your patients will no longer get a busy tone when they call you. They will also not be put on hold as the receptionist attends to another client. Patients will receive full attention from the pleasant sounding 24/7 back up receptionist as they set appointments for visits at the practice. All the patient has to do is give an appropriate date and time for their visit and have it confirmed by the remote receptionist service.

A doctor office receptionist works 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Patients can make appointments any time of the day or night and even when your practice is closed or when there is no one available to attend to the phone. Patients can call to make appointments anytime with the confidence of being attended to.

Virtual medical office receptionists not only schedule appointments, they also remind patients of their appointments. The virtual receptionist makes phone calls to patients with upcoming appointments to remind them.

First impressions account for a lot in a medical practice. It is important to make a good impression on your patients when they make their first contact with your practice over the phone as they book their appointments. Medical office assistants can help you increase the traffic to your medical practice as well as repeat visits because your callers will receive the attention they require from your receptionist. With a doctor office receptionist working for you, you will no longer receive complaints from disgruntled callers.

The staff member you have been looking for

January 2nd, 2009

The loud ringing of the phone at the reception seems to be continuous. Every time your receptionist puts it down, it goes off again. The constant buzz is interfering with your current appointment. It is also getting to the people waiting in the lobby. Some of them are irritated by the sound and others are getting impatient because they are not getting the attention they deserve from the staff who have to answer the phone every so often.

You may be thinking “Well, there’s nothing I can do about that? I can’t afford to hire more staff to ensure that callers and waiting patients are satisfied.” It would certainly cost you more money to maintain a larger staff. So what can you do? It is time you invested in an online scheduler.

Online appointment schedulers are programs that are run from a web interface. They answer all incoming calls leaving your staff with more time to attend to the needs of patients awaiting consultation. Patients and their families and friends will appreciate the increased attention they receive from your staff. This personal touch will increase the flow of patients to your practice as well as increasing the number of repeat visits.

Sounds nice, but many people do not like talking to a machine when they call a doctor’s office or anywhere for that matter. Won’t the automated voice put callers off? The answer to that question is a big NO. Online schedulers can interact with patients in a natural language dialog. This means that to callers, they sound like any other receptionist. The self-service patient appointment scheduling ability to interact with patients in such a natural manner is attributed to the speech-recognition software that is installed in it. This cutting-edge software gives them voices that are appealing to callers.

An online doctor appointment scheduling can be used on a part time or full time basis depending on your needs. You no longer have to look for a replacement for your receptionist when she can’t make it to work for one reason or another. All you have to do is turn the scheduler on and let it work for you. All your staff can continue with their duties without being interrupted by the telephone.

What’s more, a web-based doctor appointment scheduling program does not need to sleep. It can work 24 hours a day and 7 days a week without the need for rest or a vacation. Late night callers will receive service from an ever pleasant scheduler that will not mind being disturbed at a late hour. Should your receptionist go on vacation or be forced to leave work for sometime, you can trust your new staff member to handle all your incoming calls. This efficient online scheduler can set appointments for patients as well as forward emergency calls to the rightful numbers. If requested by the caller, they can forward calls to voicemail for later retrieval.

Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it? Well, you don’t have to believe everything you read. So try it yourself. Get an automated appointment scheduling program installed easily in your practice and see what a great difference this cost-effective program will make to your practice.

A New Era in Medical practice

December 20th, 2008

Everywhere that I can think of technology has entered every aspect of our lives. The way we watch television has changed with the advent of TIVO, the way we drive is different now that GPS devices are readily available. Our phones are now like pocket computers and the games that our children and grandchildren now play are so far advanced compared to the Atari systems that we clamored for. How do you envision incorporating technology into your medical practice management in the New Year?

We know that technology in a medical practice equals more efficiency and better productivity. Look at how incorporation of electronic medical records can change the way a practice operates, both big and small. Perhaps you are thinking that you do not have enough money to invest in an EMR, or you do have an EMR and don’t see the need to incorporate any other process flow changes into your practice. Let me tell you about some other medical practice management tools that can be a tremendous resource and asset and can easily be incorporated into your practice.

Virtual Receptionist

Initially this concept sounded so out of synch with how I envision a medical receptionist. My first impression of a great medical receptionist is one who remembers patients’ names and shows up on time to open the office and greet each one with a smile. This person would also require little on the job training and orientation. And most importantly, they would be efficient at what they do and be able to multitask and jump in where needed. However, the more I thought though of what my actual experiences are with medical receptionists I realized that I am used to high turnover in this position and lower job satisfaction whether it’s due to being overwhelmed, receiving little pay, or dealing with sick and sometimes difficult patients. A virtual receptionist is a cost effective way to consistently have high standards of care delivered. What it cannot provide in face to face interaction, is certainly made up in its efficiency and ability to be a value add to any practice.

Automated On-Call System

A virtual on-call system really sells itself. Imagine not being bothered at various times of the evening or night because you were incorrectly contacted by your on-call service? Think about the struggles you sometimes face with finding a service that is affordable and has the ability to triage urgent from non-urgent calls and transmit names, numbers and chief complaints accurately. An automated system does all of this for you in addition to scheduling appointments for those complaints that are not urgent. This has tremendous benefits for the front office staff of a practice.

Automated Patient Reminder System

Another concept that I immediately took to was the idea of an automated patient reminder system. This system can call patients and remind them of an upcoming appointment. Incorporating the process of visit reminders into your practice can cut down on no-show rates and frees your front office staff up to do other more importantly things. All of this at a fraction of the cost that you would expect given the return in value.

For some of us including me, getting pulled into this new technologic era has come with some hesitancy and reluctance. But, the more that I explore and find out how these cost effective advances can be combined with medical practice efficiencies that increase a bottom line and also contribute to good patient care then I am more of a believer.

Patients Will Find Your Automated Appointment Scheduling Therapeutic!

December 19th, 2008

If you can remember the last time you were placed on hold and left there to simmer when you had better things to be doing then you will appreciate the relief your patients will experience when they use your new online appointment scheduler. No longer will your medical receptionist be placing callers on hold while she tends to the multitude of other tasks that fall under her pay grade. Everyone involved will appreciate your foresight and progressive business sense when you commit to investing in an online doctor appointment scheduling service.

If you have patients whose first language is other than english you can customize the messaging for a selection of different language options all delivering the same message. When patients need the services of a medical doctor chances are there is a certain amount of anxiety associated with making an appointment. If the process is a simple permission system for online appointment scheduling then your patient will spend less time making the appointment call and get back into their routine.

I have spoken to a number of people about the intrusiveness of some live medical receptionists and the verdict is unanimous that they feel violated when asked about the nature of the appointment or “why do you need to see the doctor?” Frankly, this is none of their business and with an automated appointment scheduler; the patient is free to arrange an appointment without the inquisition from a live receptionist.

Self-service patient appointment scheduling will make the appointment process simpler for your patient and they will appreciate the fast service and confidence that their appointment is set. They have avoided embarrassing questions from the medical receptionist, the automated scheduling software questions were easy to understand, and they were given a chance to verify their answers.

The beauty of this online doctor appointment scheduling is the patient is given choices and if they are elderly, they will be able to take their time answering questions or checking their calendar for suitable dates without feeling rushed. If a patient is in an emergency, the online appointment scheduling service can direct the call to a medical attendant or the doctor (in case of emergency) directly if they are that available for patients.

Another advanced feature available with automated appointment scheduling services is if you have a dual practice you can set up the appointment scheduling software so patients are directed to the proper medical provider. Patient calls will never go to the wrong doctor. Medical staff can check the online scheduler anytime to confirm or verify appointments, reschedule appointments, and arrange for callbacks for various reasons.

A patient’s time must be respected these days. Folks are always complaining about how much time they spend sitting in doctors’ offices and it is even worse for someone with a chronic condition that needs regular monitoring. The least you as a medical professional can do is streamline the appointment scheduling process so it is convenient for your patients. It can also prove to be profitable for the overall medical practice as you will find out.

Medical Appointment Scheduling For the 21st Century

December 4th, 2008


Patient satisfaction or employee well-being…if you had to choose one over the other, patient satisfaction would have to come out on top. Medical scheduling means you don’t have to choose one over the other. Patients should be happy making their own medical appointment scheduling and your front office staff can be freed from the stressful non-stop calls that interrupt their other office tasks.

Online scheduling has come a long way since it first came on the market in the 1990’s. Technology advancements are happening fast and furious and new versions of medical appointment scheduling voice recognition software with added features are reaching the market regularly. Beta testing new components is an ongoing occurrence. This is good news for forward thinking medical offices that are using older versions and looking to upgrade.

If you are in charge of a busy medical practice imagine the advantages of having an automated email appointment reminder available to your patients saving you time and keeping your office staff free to focus on more important issues. You would be able to track all outgoing emails and verify scheduling changes and cancellations. You would simply preprogram your automated medical appointment scheduler software and let it take care of business for you.

Medical scheduling with automated systems is big business and vendors have made sure they comply with those agencies with a vested interest in the medical community and patient care. That’s why you should consider purchasing your medical appointment scheduling system from a Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act [HIPAA] compliant vendor who specializes in online doctor schedulers.

These medical appointment schedulers are designed to be safe and secure even though they are handling the most basic of patient information, you can be assured it will be locked down. In basic terms, SSL security means if you need to comply with privacy and security requirements an SSL Certificate enables encryption of sensitive information during online communication. Each SSL Certificate contains unique, authenticated information about the certificate owner and has two Keys, public and private. The public key enables encryption of information and the private key allows for deciphering of encrypted message at the server level. Patient information is safe.

Your medical appointment scheduler also comes with a feature that will provide data back ups for your peace of mind. In the event of a server malfunction or some other service interruption, you can rest assured that your online information could be reproduced with little fuss.

Customization of the features includes but is not limited to language preferences so you can communicate clearly with those patients whose first language is other than english. Messages can be changed to suit your practice or purpose.

Medical scheduling has never been more innovative and if used only in a back up capacity can change the morale of an office overnight. You will be content with the knowledge that your phone calls are being handled 24/7 by modern technology designed for your industry.

Medical Appointment Scheduling Can Help Build Your Practice

December 4th, 2008


Scheduling appointments is the lifeblood of any business and your medical practice certainly qualifies as a business. The Hippocratic Oath aside, if a medical office is not generating patient appointments your shingle will soon come down. There will always be people in need of medical attention, but will they continue to arrange their medical appointment scheduling with you if they are inconvenienced by long delays or unanswered calls?

Satisfied patients are a great source of word of mouth or viral business growth. By allowing your patients the opportunity to use an automated appointment scheduler could pay long-term dividends in referrals. I think if you ask anyone who requires regular visits to the doctors’ office what he or she dislikes about the responsibility, medical appointment scheduling will rank in the top three.

Medical offices are beginning to integrate many different and functional technologies in their practices to assist in the day-to-day organization and work flow. Utilizing a medical appointment scheduler just makes sense because of the amount of time staff will spend on the phone with a patient trying to book suitable appointment times. Employee utilization can be improved dramatically if they are on the phone less with patients and more with insurance companies, coordinating patient tests, pharmacology queries etc.

If a virtual medical receptionist is online in a busy office and the phone is constantly ringing you will rarely miss an appointment because staff is over taxed. I suspect that in many medical offices it is not unusual for callers to be placed on hold in a queue when office staff is busy with in-house patients. The theory being they will call back if it is important or even worse if it is an emergency they can go to a walk in clinic! Are you certain your own staff isn’t thinking this way? Patients should always be treated with the respect they deserve and medical appointment scheduling software will aid your staff significantly.

Medical appointment scheduling software is an Internet-based application, which means virtual access to appointments from anywhere. If you are at a medical conference somewhere or even working from home, you will have access to your patients appointments online anytime 24/7. The same is true for your patients who require appointment scheduling. If they work shifts for example and sleep during the day, they would have the opportunity to call your office at 4:00 am on their coffee break for an appointment if they needed to.

Appointment scheduling is crucial for patient satisfaction offering the contentment that comes from being able to book their appointments anytime and hassle free. Your own staff will appreciate your thoughtfulness for their personal well-being when they hear the reasons why you wanted to install online appointment scheduling to assist them.

Medical appointment schedulers come with many features including appointment reminders via email. How great would it be for your patient to be notified by email that their appointment was coming up? Everyone has busy schedules these days and many folks carry PDA’s to keep them current, receiving an email appointment reminder would be a courtesy they won’t forget, and it speaks volumes about your professionalism.

Save Medical Office Costs in a Receding Economy

December 2nd, 2008

While medicine is often touted as a recession-proof industry, many doctors are dismayed to watch their revenues flat-line even as patient workload increases. Using an online medical scheduling service can reduce the cost of many common office time wasters. In these uncertain economic times, it is more important than ever to get a firm grip on your clinic’s cost-to-profit ratios.

In order to get the most income out of your sterling patient services could be a simple matter of a 24/7 medical reception service. How is online medical scheduling or a type of Virtual Medical Office Receptionist going to earn you more revenue in a down economy? I have listed five of ways that you can get the most out of your clinic’s overhead costs by hiring a virtual receptionist as your new back up employee.

High Staff Turnover Protection – Even the most efficient medical office can have trouble with low staffing periods. A reliable remote receptionist service serves as a live answering service, 24/7 patient scheduling, appointment reminder, as well as a back-up receptionist. Not only will you save the hassle of trying to keep a full team during these potentially chaotic times, but you may find your clinic is able to spend less money overall because you are able to trim some personnel costs. This brings us to the next advantage.

Less Medical Staffing – Depending on the unique needs of your clinic and patients, an online medical scheduling service can cut your staffing needs considerably. A small practice may be able to run very efficiently with only a Virtual Medical Office Receptionist and one or two medical assistants. Well, and you, of course. The best virtual receptionist systems will also provide an after-hours answering service, appointment scheduling and reminder program.

Attract and Keep Web-Savvy Patients – More and more people prefer to use the internet for as much of their personal business as they can. For some, they prefer going online to dealing with anyone face to face. In their minds, the fewer people to deal with the better. A lot of that sentiment comes from being burnt by human error. Not only will you impress your existing patients with your modern, web-based appointment scheduling service, but the change has the potential to attract new patients, patients who are surfing the web for a clinic that is web-service friendly. Unconsciously, putative patients will equate you presence online with a dedication to always being on the cutting edge. It matters!

Cut Patient No-Show Rates – Patients that do not call to cancel an appointment wastes time and money. A patient no-show may be a lost patient if they simply do not reschedule. In this economy it is important to keep your practice a big as you can handle. An automated appointment reminder service cuts down on those patient no-shows. With an appointment scheduler, you will also free up staff to handle more important patient calls.

Improved Insurance Filings – Medical billing to insurance companies is one task that can pile up easily in a busy doctor’s office. It is not unusual to overlook reimbursement advantages when there is too much other work to be done. When the medical receptionist tasks are automated, you can afford to find and keep an excellent medical coder/biller. A good medical coder is worth their weight in gold. They can assure faster reimbursements and higher overall revenue for your practice. Plus your medical technicians will be able to devote more attention to your patients.

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