In recent years, technology innovation in patient scheduling is becoming more critical, gaining more interest, and innovating more quickly than ever.
Patients can now schedule appointments with medical providers using a website or mobile app.
Most patients find this much more convenient; in fact, 51.3% of all patients report that convenience and easy access are the most critical healthcare factors influencing their decision-making these days.
What’s interesting is many patients rate this as more important than quality of care and even insurance coverage. Therefore, it’s critical healthcare providers make convenient patient scheduling a top priority.
According to a recent study cited in JAMA, one in three adults with an urgent medical condition have difficulty successfully scheduling an appointment when they need one. This isn’t due to a lack of resources but rather a problem of inefficient patient scheduling tools and processes.
How Healthcare Software is making a difference in Patient Scheduling and quality of care
1. Pre-Registration for consultations
The healthcare intake and onboarding process are often bogged down with complicated data collection and administrative tasks. By collecting patient intake details prior to the appointment, pre-registration helps medical practitioners make decisions based upon quality clinical information, understand the patient’s insurance qualifications, and reduce scheduling mistakes.
Before implementing patient scheduling healthcare software, Mentis Neuro Health, a rehab center in Texas, experienced the downsides of an overly sophisticated patient onboarding process. To quote Morgan Porter, the Chief Technology Officer, “Even though the rehabilitation program was excellent here, the patients were typically going elsewhere because it was too complicated to get into Mentis.”
Between the intake and onboarding process, it’s not uncommon for patients to simply give up and go to another provider. Improving the pre-registration process streamlines day-to-day tasks for providers, helps them be more efficient, and improves the overall experience for medical staff and patients.
2. Central Repository of Information
Patient scheduling software helps maintain all patient data in one place. This avoids duplication of data, offline notes, and inefficient manual processes. This simplifies scheduling follow-ups, reviewing treatment notes, and other repetitive tasks.
3. Automated Appointment Reminder System
Appointment reminders are another benefit of scheduling software. Automated reminders via email, SMS text, and telephone can save staff time, reduce cancellations, and reduce no-shows. Missed appointments alone cost the US healthcare system over $150 billion each year. An appointment reminder system not only lessens the administrative burden but also improves the patient’s experience. Patients can easily confirm or cancel appointments through a website or mobile app. Research shows the impact of an appointment reminder function can lower no-shows by as much as 40%.
4. Rescheduling appointments
Patient scheduling automation software reduces the administrative work of rescheduling postponed or canceled appointments. Administrators will not have to spend more time reorganizing the appointment and therefore can concentrate on other tasks.
Patient scheduling software is also designed to improve communication between the patient and the healthcare provider. Telehealth has been on the rise lately because of its convenience to both healthcare providers and patients. Modern appointment scheduling software provides a secure communication channel for medical personnel. Recent patient scheduling software can even integrate with third-party applications such as telehealth applications, for increased functionality. Medical practitioners can leverage this to proactively address potential patient issues before the appointment, thereby lessening the front office staff’s overall burden.
Patient scheduling software presents an opportunity to reduce the administrative burden healthcare providers face daily, reduce stress among the medical staff and the patients, ensuring smooth patient flow, and significantly reduce healthcare costs for all involved.
At AppWell Health, our mission is to leverage technology to help improve healthcare for the world. One of the areas we focus on is implementing technology to improve patient scheduling.
We can help you evaluate third-party platforms, leverage a customized version of our AppWell Accelerator Platform, or build out an entirely customized solution for you. Contact us to learn more today.
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