Ways to Improve Patient Scheduling

January 17, 2023

Patient scheduling is one of the most critical elements of practice administration that results in satisfied patients, improved revenue, and a streamlined and smooth process.

Patient scheduling is a complicated and critical process. Also, healthcare providers invested $342.4 million in the scheduling process in 2020 and will expand their investment to as much as $690 million by 2027.

In a pandemic situation, patients are expecting healthcare to be convenient and prompt with streamlined scheduling workflows and secure communication which can overcome the traditional, paper and phone-based scheduling procedures.

Acknowledging the need to improve their patient scheduling procedure in this post-COVID world, healthcare providers shifted to technology, automate scheduling apps, to create the entire appointment journey for patients more streamlined and safe.

How to schedule patients effectively

Some practical scheduling techniques include scheduling from noon, prioritizing appointments, and making a patient waitlist. These can overburden your office staff. But, technology can enhance patient schedules without affecting your workload:

1. Confirm appointments with text or email reminders

Automated medical appointment reminders decrease no-shows, improve appointment confirmations, and ultimately boost the number of patient visits via better slot utilization.

2. Automate responses

Your team doesn’t need to answer every patient message. With a progressive patient reminder system that has keyword actions, you can send automated responses to patients such as “confirm,” “cancel,” and “reschedule” etc.”

3. Improve medical call-center operations

Some patients choose to talk to a live person instead of scheduling doctor appointments online or via text messaging. Improving the functions of your call center by decreasing call volume can improve patient scheduling.

4. Use data to identify trends and opportunities

Patient scheduling software data is important to analyze and track appointment times, arrival times, patient times to see a physician and other key metrics. By analyzing patient scheduling software we can improve the scheduling process and streamline the process.

5. Use patient self-scheduling and reschedule appointments

Almost 30 percent of patients cancel the appointment and reschedule them. Calling every patient and rescheduling the appointment is hectic and requires a lot of organizational work. Instead, offer a patient self-scheduling technique with an easy communication medium. This will help a patient to reschedule and cancel the schedule easily. 

6. Automated patient recalls for scheduling patients in the future

One cant call every patient and schedule their annual checkup or physical exams manually. Instead, you can use recalls sent in the patient’s chosen medium via texting, email, or phone.

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