PATIENTS WANT GREATER CONVENIENCE
By the end of 2019, it’s estimated that two-thirds of U.S. healthcare providers will offer online appointment scheduling for their patients. A recent study conducted by Accenture* predicts a massive adoption of online scheduling tools in healthcare. The report stated that 64% of patients will self-schedule appointments digitally, which could potentially deliver $3.2 billion in value and make health systems more competitive.
Digital self-scheduling offers several advantages. It helps healthcare practices reduce costs associated with the amount of time it takes for team members to schedule appointments on the phone. The average amount of time it takes for a patient to complete a scheduling call is 8.1 minutes. By decreasing this time, healthcare practices can reallocate their resources to increase productivity and efficiency. According to Accenture, “By making general appointment scheduling available online, health systems can reduce excess capacity, expand scheduling hours and better allow for last minute appointments. The capability also provides healthcare transparency and patient control, both of which improve trust, loyalty, and patient satisfaction.”
Patients benefit greatly from having the ability to schedule their appointments online 24/7. The greater convenience increases patient engagement by making it easier for them to communicate with their healthcare providers, reducing the need to make multiple scheduling calls, long hold times, and is available on all social media platforms. Patients have put pressure on healthcare providers after growing accustomed to doing everything online—from paying bills, shopping or booking a dinner reservation. In fact, 77% of patients think the ability to book, change or cancel appointments online is important and it allows patients to schedule their appointments — anytime, anywhere.
In addition, providers are more likely to connect with a new patient in need, plus digital self-scheduling reduces overhead and enhances the patient experience (automated reminders, fewer no-shows, fewer call-backs, and improved outcomes).
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AUTHOR: Tyra Wright, Product Manager
*Accenture 2013 Consumer Survey