Archive for the tag 'online medical appointment scheduling'

How “Free” Are Free Online Schedulers?

April 21st, 2010

If you have been looking for online schedulers for your business, there are chances that you have come across web sites that claim to offer free online schedulers. This can be a very tempting route to take for your appointment scheduling needs. However, there are some factors you need to bear in mind before you opt for such a service.

The issue of free online schedulers is sensitive in any line of business you may be involved in, but it is even more serious as far as medical practice is concerned.

Making online schedules is quite involving. So, why would someone be willing to offer you the service free of charge? The companies give a variety of reasons for doing this, but they tend to boil down to the same thing: that they have other great ways of making money.

What is true is that they must have ways of making money. However, they are not really making the money from other sources as they would like you to believe. If the services were free as they claim, why would they go to great lengths to reach you in the first place? This in itself should tell you that the service is not as free as it is claimed. The plain fact is that the companies need people to sign up for their apparently free services for them to make money. But do you know that the way they make the money could easily land you into a lot of trouble?

Consider this:

When you sign up for the “free” online schedulers, not only will your own data but also the details of your patients go to the company’s servers. How safe can you ensure that this data is? As a doctor, you know that you are sworn to privacy as far as some of your patients’ details are concerned. Yet here you will be putting yourself in a situation where you have absolutely no control over this data.

Do you know how the apparently free services generate income? They SELL this data. The money that they get from your data is far more than what you would pay for a good online appointment scheduler. And you do not really know where your sensitive pieces of information could end up.

You can easily be charged for the violation of your patient’s privacy, and what you will be required to pay cannot be compared to the amount with which you could have subscribed to a good online scheduler. And you can be held in violation of HIPAA.

Even if your business does not grind to a halt, you will have a very bad reputation. Free online schedulers are actually too costly to risk taking.

Effective Office Automation

January 26th, 2010

We live in a world of advanced technology where people use a wide variety of machines to simplify the things they want to do while they get a better output. You should not let yourself remain behind as technology passes you by if you have a medical clinic. If you would like to streamline your medical practice in order to be more productive, you should ensure that you set up a good medical practice management system. In order to achieve this, you need to set up an effective office automation system.

There are various areas that you need to take into consideration as you look for your office automation system. One of the crucial areas has to do with booking of appointments. You should use a system that gives your patients the opportunity to book their own appointments. The self-service patient appointment scheduling program that you use should enable the patients who would like to use the phone to do so. In order for this to be more effective, you should put up a very robust automated medical receptionist that will work round the clock, even during those times when your front desk receptionist is off duty.

In addition, the service should enable those patients who are Internet savvy to be able to carry out online medical appointment scheduling. You will thus take care of patients with different tastes.

The office automation system you use should also incorporate the ability to remind the patients of their approaching appointments. A good appointment reminder service will help you to deal with the problem of patient no-shows, which can affect your business significantly. Apart from this, you should use a system that will protect you in case a patient still fails to show up even after being reminded of the appointment. Are you wondering how you are going to achieve this? Simple. Just use a pre-paid medical appointment scheduling program, which will require the patients to make a small payment during the booking process.

You should ensure that the system you use gives you as much anywhere-anytime convenience and flexibility as possible. First, the program should be easy for you and your staff to use. Second, you should be able to access your records irrespective of where you are. You should be able to access your records either online or via instant text messaging, which means that the system needs to be compatible with a wide variety of devices, including ordinary cell phones, iphone and Blackberry devices. Remember that you are automating your office, not yourself!