For industries like healthcare that focus on customer service, integrating technology into their scheduling and management procedures is more important than ever. It’s not just a benefit for businesses; customers and patients are eager to manage their own time.
When surveyed, 25% indicated that they’d rather book their appointments online, and 35% said online appointment options are a critical deciding factor for choosing a healthcare provider.
Aside from providing a more streamlined approach to managing patient scheduling and office visits, healthcare scheduling software can also become an important tool for resource management. Let’s look closer at how appointment scheduling software for healthcare can boost productivity and revenue.
Importance of Automation in Healthcare
Every day, we interact with online or digital entities. From phones to computers, much of the world accesses and leverages these and similar technologies. As a result, many patients have become comfortable operating and navigating in these spheres for desired or needed services and goods.
Technology has become integral to patient management, care, and healthcare treatment. Managing patients’ medical histories, procedures, appointments, and medication requirements are all made more accessible with technology and automation.
Plus, with more patients opting to manage and schedule their appointment times, healthcare workers can focus more on their time on patients’ treatments and outcomes, and patients aren’t waiting on hold to talk to an office assistant.
5 Reasons Why Healthcare Scheduling Software Can Help You
For healthcare providers, scheduling software and its subsequent automation benefits are quickly transforming typical patient management protocols. In the near future, more patients will expect to play an integral role in their healthcare management. For now, technology is laying the foundation for our automated future with accessible and useful systems for patients and healthcare providers.
Streamlining Appointment Scheduling
One of the greatest benefits of implementing appointment scheduling software is the ability for patients to schedule their appointment dates and times. Patients familiar with navigating online web pages will inherently recognize the format of most scheduling systems, as they will have similar appearances and prompts. Scheduling systems are designed to be user-friendly, so most patients will be comfortable using the software, regardless of their prior experience.
In the past, patients would call the office to make appointments, often waiting on hold for an available staff member to complete the scheduling process. With online scheduling, patients no longer need to speak to anyone in the office to make an appointment.
Plus, individuals know best what days and times will work for them. They must find availability on the healthcare provider’s calendar and add their appointment. As a result, average online scheduling times are less than a minute versus 8 minutes when scheduling over the phone with an office attendant.
Reducing No-shows and Cancellations
Patients not attending appointments or canceling at the last minute can cost healthcare providers more than you imagine. The cost of all missed and canceled appointments equates to $150 billion annually for US Healthcare providers.
Patients who schedule their own appointments are more likely to keep them. Since they tried to look for an opening in their schedule, they’re more likely to honor that time and date.
The scheduling software can also remind patients of upcoming appointments with SMS or email messages and notifications. If the patient needs to change or cancel an appointment, the scheduling software is designed to allow for quick and easy adjustments.
Increasing Staff Efficiency
This efficient and effective process also frees the staff to focus on managing the current patients in the office or facility. With far fewer phone calls and manual scheduling duties, the healthcare team can shift their attention to their patients or the countless other jobs around the office. Streamlining scheduling has become a catalyst for transforming office procedures and keeping everything running smoothly and efficiently.
Improving Patient Engagement
One of the biggest complaints for patients has been about the time taken to call and schedule appointments. Waiting on the phone on hold could be more conducive to work or productivity.
With appointment scheduling software, patients can schedule and manage appointments at their leisure or whenever they have time during their work days.
The ease of the scheduling software also means more patients will schedule more appointments, which helps build a stronger rapport between patient and doctor by simply improving the appointment scheduling process for doctors and patients.
Enhancing Data Management and Analysis
One of the more interesting features of online scheduling is gaining insight into patient patterns and how a healthcare provider’s office can respond. Data about when patients schedule appointments, when and how cancelations occur, and what issues patients may encounter when attempting to schedule all help to improve office procedures.
For instance, analyzing patient scheduling data helps to identify peak customer appointment times. This can help offices to allocate more staff to match their needs. Healthcare providers can also monitor the scheduled appointments, how many customers respond to appointment reminders, or how many patients check in remotely versus in person. These and other data insights help to create more effective office and customer service procedures.
Some Features of Appointment Scheduling Software
Scheduling software has proved beneficial for numerous reasons, some of which include:
- Simple to book- Scheduling software has been designed to look and operate user-friendly. The easier the system is to navigate, the more likely the patients will choose to use it.
- Calendar Maintenance- An updated calendar is critical for the patient and the healthcare provider. A regularly updated calendar for the doctor’s office quickly shows which patients are coming in and when they’re scheduled and can even include appointment details. For patients, an updated calendar quickly lets them know what appointment times are available so they can schedule themselves around what works best.
- Reminders- Scheduling software can also be configured to remind patients when their next appointment is and if they need to take special precautions before their visit. Reminders are quite effective at helping to reduce missed appointments or cancellations, too.
- User-friendly- Ease of use is the key to encouraging patients to use the system. Suppose a user-friendly scheduling system is built to look similar to existing consumer tech platforms. In that case, the changeover from person-to-person scheduling to system use will happen much more organically and often effortlessly.
Scheduling Makes Sense
As technology continues to play an integral part in our lives, it’s clear that many traditional systems will begin to or continue to be transformed into more efficient and effective forms. Regarding healthcare providers, scheduling software is transforming the patient experience and realigning the goals and functions of doctors, nurses, and their staff members.
At NEMO-Q, we offer complete systems and specific parts for your scheduling and queuing needs. Our customer experience solutions can transform your office or business with streamlined, effective tools and procedures. Contact us today to find out more about our systems and software.