The world is becoming more automated every day, with electronic options taking over for manual functions everywhere you turn. Among the many digital options available to your practice is the electronic schedule which allows your patients to self-schedule from their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop. Not only does this technology allow your practice to operate more efficiently, statistics show your patients want this option.
Despite the demand for online patient scheduling, research reveals that many providers seem reluctant to switch to this patient-oriented convenience. Fears of data breaches, or over-booking, or even a reluctance to change the way things are done are holding back many providers from offering a self-scheduling choice for their patients.
On closer inspection, self-scheduling is one of the easiest and most convenient options for automating your practice. In addition to offering a convenience to your patients, online scheduling can save money, stress, and the time for your practice and your staff.
Benefits of Online Patient Scheduling
Patient Convenience: A large percentage of your patients work full-time, and many of them lack workplace privacy to make appointments and reveal sensitive information. Giving your patients the option to book an appointment after hours, from the convenience of their smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer means you are extending a courtesy to them that they are sure to appreciate.
Reduce No-Shows: Online scheduling software can send automatic patient reminders through email and text messaging so patients remember scheduled appointments. Appointment reminders are created in the computer the moment the online scheduler creates the appointment. This dramatically reduces no-shows and saves your practice money.
Online Practice Marketing: When you place a “schedule now” button on your Facebook page or website, you advertise to patients and prospective patients that you are eager to accommodate them. Since everyone wants greater convenience, the one-click option to schedule becomes an excellent marketing tool. In fact, a study conducted by MobiHealthNews found that nearly 50% of patients surveyed prefer a provider who offers online patient scheduling.
Huge Cost Savings: The average cost of online patient scheduling software is $40-$80 each month. Compare that to the cost of paying an employee to manage your schedule and provide the reminder calls. The overall benefit analysis weighs heavily in favor of automation. Providing this convenience to both your patients and staff will reap rewards for years to come.
Online scheduling is far less worrisome than many providers might think. It’s a simple step that allows your patients to self-schedule and builds on the good will that fosters good retention.
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