Starting from the basics
It’s not about the grandness of the service that makes it excellent. It’s the consistency, the reliability, and the effectiveness seen even in the smallest of tasks, such as scheduling patient appointments.
Given that technology has been consistently developing, it has made waves in the healthcare industry, too, offering ways to make tasks and services more convenient for the people involved, especially when it comes to schedule management.
Here are ways to effective schedule patients’ appointments:
Real-time online scheduling
Patients know their schedules best. Having said that, both the business and the patients will benefit from giving them the option of self-scheduling, which is usually done online.
If the scheduling system is as smooth as can be, then it’s a win-win situation for the patient and the practice: patients are pleased with how easy it is to book their appointment, and the staff would spend less time working on the schedule management.
Send out confirmations and reminders
It’s possible for patients to forget about the appointments. It’s also possible that they were unsure whether the booking pushed through. By sending out automatic notifications of confirmed bookings and appointment reminders to patients, healthcare apps have improved the management system.
Fortunately, businesses don’t have to create this automation from scratch. There are digital tools that are dedicated to this type of service, which the staff will have to simply set up. Demandforce, for example, has a feature dedicated to sending out these confirmations and reminders.
Digital apps often display the trends related to schedule management. Through the gathering of data, businesses can identify where issues arise and, in turn, figure out ways to manage the bottlenecks and prepare for problems that could hinder the workflow. Analytics can also be used to understand the best times to book and the days that are prone to cancellation.
To maximize everyone’s productivity, try scheduling consultations in bulk so that there’s no possible downtime, wherein staff and doctors are simply waiting for the next patient to arrive. Buffers are okay but having long periods of spare time might translate into wasted time.
Schedule in blocks (i.e. filling out the slots for the whole morning first) means the clinic will have patients come in a steady stream. Should there be no scheduled consultations in the afternoon, then either the staff can go home earlier or use that time for meetings or learning sessions.
Create an automated waiting list
There will be patients who don’t appear during their scheduled appointment, and sometimes, it can be out of one’s hands. One way of dealing with this possibility is by having an automated waiting list that makes it easy for the business to notify those who are waitlisted of the newly opened slot. Making use of this list is useful especially in keeping the clinic day productive!
In understanding how this becomes advantageous for all, perhaps the business can consider these few ways a clinical practice can effectively schedule their patients each day. That way, it could boost both patient and staff satisfaction.
Biswajit Rakshit is a professional blogger and writer. He loves to write on various topics.