You may be used to the good old paper and pen scheduling system, or even use a sleek practice management system that works great for you and your staff to book patients in, but unfortunately that is no longer enough. We’re in the age of increased convenience, independence and digital usage from our patients. Just look at the popularity of AirBnB, Uber, Amazon Prime! People just like having the ability to do something online, whether it’s buying their groceries, or booking their physiotherapy appointment.
A 2014 study by Accenture found that 77% of patients thought that the ability to book, cancel and reschedule their health appointments online was important. They estimated that by 2019, 64% of patients will be booking their health appointments online. Having online scheduling for your patients will not only save you and your staff time scheduling, it will also open up the doors for new patients to find you, and increase customer satisfaction by giving your patients the increased autonomy we all so desire. So, if you are not giving your patients the opportunity to manage their own appointments digitally, you may be losing out on business or at least contributing to not having a fully satisfied customer, and a study by Infoquest shows that a totally satisfied customer contributes 14 times more revenue to your clinic than a somewhat dissatisfied customer.
Some things to look for when exploring which online scheduling tool your patients can use to manage their own appointments are:
Easy to use
Your patients aren’t going to be getting any training on how to use an online scheduling tool, so it has to be intuitive.
You still need to manage when patients can book and what type of appointments they can book.
Your patients are using a variety of devices – iPhones, Androids, iPads, tablets, computers, etc. – so you want them to be able to book online using whatever they want, whenever they want.
Patients should only be able to see their appointment data, and patient data should be encrypted so that no patient data is floating around on the web.
Integrates with your schedule
You do not want to be continually updating your schedule with the online booking tool your patients use, so having something that automatically updates with your practice management software is key.
No late cancellations
Having a set cancellation time-frame and policy in place is important for managing your schedule and expectations for your patients, so you don’t want to do away with that by allowing patients to cancel their appointments anytime online.
Lucky for you, InnoCare Software’s PencilThat ticks all of the boxes. Don’t be one of the late adopters Accenture describes – offer your patients the ability to book their own appointments online today!