Last Updated on
With the increasing population of the United States, the need for healthcare services and options also increases. The rise of the population also signifies that more patients will seek care at medical facilities, wellness centers, and physicians’ practices. While patient growth has its benefits, it also creates new challenges for healthcare providers. Processes and procedures that may have been adequate before may no longer be effective. Because of this, healthcare providers may need to find alternatives to assist them in taking care of patients.
One process that is affected by the increase in patients is appointment scheduling. This simple task can become burdensome and challenging for medical staff. When medical practices rely on this inefficient way to schedule appointments—over the phone—this gives rise to scheduling errors, especially if the medical staff have other important tasks in the practice. Furthermore, the process of scheduling appointments over the phone is also inconvenient for patients. This is the reason why many practices have turned to an online booking system.
Benefits of Appointment Booking System
For those who are not familiar with an appointment booking system, it is an application that allows patients to conveniently book their appointments online through any device such as a computer, tablet, or smartphone. It can be accessed on the medical practice’s webpage or a URL that is provided by the medical practice. Once the patient has selected the time and date for their consultation, the system will automatically confirm the booking and instantly record it within the system without the need for human intervention. Because of the flexibility of an appointment booking system, you can utilize it in different ways. Aside from scheduling appointments, you can also use it for booking vaccines, flu shots, and other treatments.
Now that you have been acquainted with what an appointment booking system is, you need to be familiar with its essential features. Here are some of the important features that your online scheduling system should have:
Book Now” Button
No matter how convenient your appointment booking system is, if your patients don’t know how to schedule an appointment because your button is nowhere to be found, then your system capabilities will not be fully maximized. In designing the “Book Now” button, make sure that it is simple and easy to use. As much as possible, make your button eye-catching and easy to find on your website. Aside from the “Book Now” button, your booking system should also allow you to create other call-to-action buttons should you want to offer packages and special deals.
If you’re tired of answering phone calls about appointment availability while taking care of patients, then transitioning to an appointment booking system will be a huge help in taking the burden off of you. Real-time online booking will help eliminate the hassle of answering calls and your patients will have the freedom to schedule their appointments whenever and wherever they are. Patients will also receive an immediate confirmation once their appointments are booked. Because of this feature, your patient won’t need to call in anymore to double-check their appointments.
In this age of technological advancement, most people own a smartphone. We use it for communication, leisure, and entertainment. For the past years, your phones can also be utilized to schedule appointments on your own with the use of an appointment booking system. Whether your patients access your online appointment booking platform using a desktop, laptop, tablet, or a smartphone, they should be able to receive the same level of experience. Make sure that your appointment application is mobile-friendly so that patients will not have a hard time scheduling appointments should they want to do it on their phones.
Sends Automated Reminders to Patients
Sending an automated email or text reminders to patients is an essential feature that your appointment system should have. This helps in reducing your no-show rate. Furthermore, you should also have control over the reminders such as the frequency and the time the reminder should be sent. This would be helpful as you don’t want to bombard your patients with a lot of appointment reminders, right?
Integrated Payment Options
Having an appointment booking system that has an integrated payment system will be beneficial for your practice. Patients can easily and conveniently make their payments after their consultation. Furthermore, should you require your patients to pay before their consultation, this would help in reducing the number of no-shows. Your patients can also get the payment details and integrate it with your financials so that you can better track the amount that is coming to your practice.
Multiple and Easy Calendar Views
Having multiple types of view of your calendar allows you to see what your daily, weekly, and monthly schedule is with just a glance. It could help you plan your schedule every day and make adjustments should you have a hard time accommodating your patients. A good calendar will update automatically should some patients reschedule and if there are new appointments added.
The purpose of your appointment booking system is to make your life easier. It should allow your patients to easily schedule an appointment without making huge efforts while allowing you to do other important tasks other than answering phone calls. If you’re looking for a convenient way for patients to schedule appointments online 24/7, Website4MD can help you. We are a full-service web development agency working exclusively in the healthcare industry. We combine years of healthcare industry expertise with objective-based strategy and stimulating creativity to build upon your brand so that it stands out, delivers, and grows. Learn how online scheduling can help your practice and request a demo now!