Advancements in technology make our lives easier and more convenient. The same can be said for healthcare organizations that have adopted online scheduling platforms. Let’s take a look at the benefits of online scheduling.
Online scheduling can reduce the amount of administrative work that needs to be done. If patients are only able to schedule calls by phone, front office staff is likely to spend most of their day on the phone. This leaves little time to complete other necessary administrative tasks, and can often mean a scramble to attend to patients when they arrive in the office. Scheduling appointments is a task that generally doesn’t need to involve human interaction, making it a less-efficient use of time for office staff. While some appointments may require follow-up by staff, use of online scheduling can also reduce inefficiencies and oversight by flagging these appointments for follow up.
Online scheduling is something that a lot of patients look for when choosing a provider. According to one study, 68% of patients are more likely to choose a provider that allows them to book, change, and cancel appointments online. This is particularly true for patients in the millennial generation, who have expressed a clear preference against telephone communication. Online scheduling also saves time for the patient as well as no one really likes to be left on hold when calling an office, and many will not be able to call during office hours. Online solutions represent a clear adaptation to the trends and preferences of the younger generations.
Attract New Patients
Online scheduling helps to attract new patients to your practice. New patients are usually looking to book their appointments online because it is quicker and more efficient; especially because there is already enough paperwork to fill out! User experience can often be a make or break for getting a person in the door. If a patient is able to take action instantly on a provider’s website, then they will probably not look for another provider.
Offering this type of scheduling provides customers with 24/7 access to booking appointments, making it more convenient for them. Patients don’t have to worry about finding time to call the office during operating hours if they are busy. Therefore, if the practice is closed, then patients still have the ability to make an appointment, and patient flow will not be dependent on phone availability.
Fill Empty Slots
Online scheduling helps practices fill any empty appointment slots they may have. While many offices offer a patient a few time slots, allowing the patient to view the entire availability calendar may help to coordinate schedules, and find slots that they may not have been offered otherwise. For example, if a patient gets sick after the office is closed, then they are still going to have the ability to get to the doctor the next day when they book online. If they wait until the next day to call the office, they might not be able to get an appointment.