Why should your Medical Office have an Online Appointment Scheduler?

October 18th, 2008

I’m getting on a soapbox today about scheduling a medical appointment. It can be a huge hassle, which irritates busy people like me, and it can drive away patients. Have you ever called your doctor’s office over and over, trying to schedule an appointment but you’re put on hold, transfered and dropped, or you have to talk to a busy person who’s trying to do other things? Making an appointment to see your doctor shouldn’t be so difficult!

Sometimes I’ve gone through the menu only to learn the office isn’t open for a few more minutes or they’re out to lunch for an hour. My schedule doesn’t always allow me time to sit on hold or wait for the office to open. It can even be a factor in deciding on my primary care physician if I have a choice of several offices.

I wish I could use the phone menu to schedule an appointment when I have the time. Wouldn’t it be great to have access to 24/7 appointment scheduling? After all, I can call in my prescription refills using an automatic system. That makes it easy to do since I can do it at six in the morning or midnight, when the house is quiet and I have time. It’s a great solution that makes patients like me happy and frees up time in the office too.

Imagine how happy it would make patients to if appointment scheduling could be so easy and convenient. Or better yet, what if you can offer them one more option: online appointment scheduling? That way, they can see all the information they need and make their appointment as quickly as they can type. That’s how I’d like to make my appointments. This would be even quicker and fit with people’s preferences. Everyone goes online to look up movie times, order items, and now many are scheduling all their appointments online. It gives them 24/7 self-service appointment scheduling.

I’m listing many reasons why I’d love online scheduling, but a medical office benefits from it as well. (So yes, make my day and get online scheduling! I’ll be happier when I come in.) With an online appointment scheduler service working for you, not only are patients more content but employees are free to speak to patients about medical issues. They’ll have time for other tasks instead of scheduling patient appointments.

And this is far superior to an answering service that takes information and pages a doctor. That’s just more waiting and answering services can’t make appointments. These days, if a person can handle something on their own, in their own time, they like to do just that. In the past people wanted to speak to an actual person, and that’s still the case sometimes, but some things are just easier and quicker to do yourself. With online scheduling, a person can even make their appointment on their laptop in a busy restaurant. It saves time for everyone if patients can make their own appointments. I know it’ll make me happier to have another task I can do online.

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