Archive for the tag 'web-based doctor appointment'

Avoid Free Schedulers – Get One With Complete Features

June 8th, 2010

If you have a clinic and are looking for a suitable online scheduler, one thing is certain: you will get numerous options. This, however, does not necessarily mean that you will have an easy time in making the right choice. You will find both free and paid online appointment schedulers. As attractive as the offer may appear, you should avoid the free schedulers.

There are many important factors why you need to keep away from the free schedulers. Let us take a look at just two reasons that will show you the free offers are not the best option.

They are not really free

When you sign up for a free scheduler, you will believe that it is really free in the beginning simply because you will not fork out anything from your pocket. However, this is misleading. Have you ever asked yourself how the owners maintain the services?

Perhaps you have read – or you will read – that they have other means of generating money, so they are simply being generous. This is a lot of hot air. First of all, advertising the free online schedulers takes time and money. Why would they do this?

The real reason is that it is from these apparently free web-based doctor appointment services that they generate their revenue. They will simply sell your data. This is a serious violation of patient privacy that you will need to answer for in a court of law. It will also be a violation of the HIPAA. Even if your run a small business where privacy is not as sensitive as for medical practice,  using a “free” scheduler will eventually cost your business relationship with the customers; they are likely to be scared away as soon as they realized that their phone, address, and email are being used without their consent.

Lack of suitable features

The free online appointment schedulers will also cost your business in other ways. You will get very limited features that do not leave you with many options. For example, a good self-service patient appointment scheduling program will give your patients the flexibility to make their appointments independently while you still have control over what goes on. The patients will do this in a variety of ways depending on their personal tastes.

Telephone service will be of help to many people, particularly the elderly. The online option will be a good option for the tech savvy individuals. SMS service gives you the opportunity to reach people wherever they may be, which is a good option for busy people who move frequently.

Another important factor is that a suitable online scheduler will include a reminder service. This alone is enough to pay for your subscription. Avoiding just one patient no-show per month suffices to cater for your subscription.

Appointment Access At Your Fingertips 24/7 with Google Sync

June 3rd, 2009

Old Fashioned! That’s what those old bound appointment books are. They served a purpose at one time, but now they are outdated. You are too busy to be wondering when you have appointments scheduled, or to always have to call into the office to see who’s coming in and when. Luckily, in this day and age – there is something new. And, it’s something that will make you say, “WOW” out loud so everyone can hear!

An online appointment scheduler is the way to go for you and your patients. This way, your patients can log on at any time of the day or night and schedule their appointments. What’s more – you and your entire practice can be notified immediately when someone schedules an appointment. The online appointment scheduler makes it easy for you to see your day, week and month at a glance – and allows you to avoid overbooking. It also enables you to squeeze in patients at the last minute if need be. Not to mention, this makes it so easy and convenient for your patients as well. But, the online appointment scheduler is much more than that!

You’re busy. Many times you are out of the office – with no access to the Internet or email. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t need access to your appointments and other items on your calendar. Well, say hello to a feature that allows you to sync all of your appointments with your BlackBerry, G-phone, and nearly every smartPhone. By syncing appointments to google calendar – you can have access to all of your appointments twenty-four hours a day! What’s more – it’s easy!

All you need to do is follow a couple of easy steps and your online appointment book will sync with google calendar. Then, regardless of Internet access – you will have access to your appointments anytime you need them. It’s perfect for when you are traveling. It’s also perfect for when you need to see all of your appointments at a glance! And, don’t worry if it will work with your device! Google sync is. Google Sync is tailored to suit the mobile phone that you have. The service is available for those with phones such as iPhone, Nokia S60, Sony Ericsson, Windows Mobile, Blackberry and Nokia Standard.

And, as an added bonus, google sync will also synchronize all of your contacts. You will be able to access this information anytime and from anywhere in case of an emergency or the need for a change. And, the features don’t stop there – you can sync appointments 365 days in advance, use multiple calendars – and even multiple devices! All of this, with your online appointment scheduler – how perfect!

Online appointment scheduling and Modern appointment software

May 27th, 2009

It has happened to each and every one of us. We call our doctor’s office at the last minute to schedule an appointment – and the first thing we are told is, “please hold!” While we sit on the phone waiting for someone to talk to us, we become more and more frustrated. When the receptionist finally picks up the phone to speak with us, the other line begins ringing again and our frustration starts anew! The only thing worse than sitting on hold with your doctor’s office to schedule an appointment is calling and getting the dreaded “busy signal”. When that happens, we are about to go through the roof. And, when that happens – patients consider going to a different medical practice.

But, alas – relief could be in sight. Online appointment scheduling is the wave of the future for appointment software . With millions of people on the Internet across the world in any given moment, everything from virtual office assistants to online appointment scheduling is becoming more and more popular.

There are many reasons for the popularity of online appointment scheduling but the first is the obvious reason – convenience. Online appointment scheduling allows the patient to log onto the Internet at anytime of the day or night to make an appointment. With one click of the mouse, a patient can make an appointment for the next day, or the next month, or the next year! What’s more – a patient can automatically see what appointment times are available and can even schedule follow up visits at the same time. Convenience is the key to appointment software . But the benefits of modern appointment software don’t stop there.

Automation of service is another major benifit for all. Patients and doctors can get reminders sent to their email reminding them of appointments. This cuts way down on missed appointments.

As well, modern visual design replace the old fashion “search-and-typing” with “point-and-click”; with one click of a mouse, or tap on their mobile device doctor’s can see all of their appointments for the day, week, month, and year.

In terms of office operations – online appointment scheduling makes the doctor’s office run like a “well-oiled” machine and patients are noticing! It used to be receptionists and support staff spent most of their time worrying about appointments and scheduling. And, that’s to mention the phone ringing off the hook with appointment questions. Now, because of automated appointment scheduling, receptionists and support staff can focus on the important things – making sure patients are getting the care and the information they need!

Online Appointment Scheduler for Your Blackberry, iPhone, or SmartPhone

February 12th, 2009

Busy medical practitioners and business people who are using the modern online appointment software already appreciate the benefits of the service automation. They should be pleased that the online appointment scheduler just became much more efficient.

A new feature will allow the client to access their online appointment software via their handheld devices such as blackberries, iPhones, SmartPhone’s etc. from anywhere. When you are out of your office, you can now be sure you will never miss an appointment. Your online appointment software will display appointments to your mobile devices when you need it.

Your appointments will be synced to your handheld device utilizing tools available through Google Calendar and Goo Sync to provide either one-way appointment access or two ways. You can literally push or pull your appointments to or from your online appointment scheduler from anywhere once you register for this new and exciting service.
The following services can now be synced to your portable phone or handheld device:

• Business Contacts with addresses
• Scheduled agenda events
• Event particulars and your notations
• Regularly scheduled events
• Various calendars
• Shared and public Google calendars
• Audible alerts reminders from your mobile device
• Tasks from your Outlook mail program

Your online appointment scheduler working in conjunction with Goo Sync and Google Calendar will offer you many new services and capabilities. As mentioned, you can choose a one or two-way synchronization between your online calendar or desktop calendar or just a basic upload from your online appointment scheduler. You can set a timer so your calendar will sync automatically with your iPhone, Blackberry, SmartPhone or one of many different handheld or mobile devices.

As with all Google applications, your personal data is well protected but you may want to take further precautions by excluding your personal data from your new mobile appointment calendar. In particular, if there is confidential patient information in your online appointment scheduler these details could be excluded from the syncing process. Common sense should prevail when storing personal information online and when doing so via wireless mobile devices.

Support is available for handhelds including BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Palm OS, Apple iPhone & iPod Touch through your Outlook and iTunes, Google Android and so many more. A complete list of compatible devices is available upon sign up and the list is impressive. Software applications are available to expand the number of personal information management software and desktop applications with which you can sync. These include Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, Palm Desktop, ACT!, GoldMine, Microsoft Outlook with Business Contact Manager and Novell GroupWise.

There is no charge to access Google Calendar or any of the Google products from your phone or handheld device but your mobile device operator may charge you extra for certain added services.

As mentioned above there are various plug ins available on the market to improve your compatibility between mobile devices and software calendars/ personal data programs.
For the busy physician or businessperson who is required to be out of the office and away from their online appointment scheduler software, the advantages of syncing your online appointment scheduler with your SmartPhone, iPhone or Blackberry device are many. Your busy schedule just became a little more tolerable and a lot more organized.

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.

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.

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