Patient appointment booking is a major aspect of healthcare, which implies the best way to help masses leverage modern-day healthcare solutions. India’s doctor-patient ratio, which is 1:921 as of December 2017, suggests that we still have to go a long way to address the healthcare demands of rural areas. On the other hand, several healthcare organizations are striving to improve the efficiency of their existing scheduling process, for managing your appointments in a much-organized way will allow you to accommodate more beneficiaries.

When you comprehend the situation from a business viewpoint, the assumptions and vague concerns will be superseded by the facts. Patient appointments account for the major revenue source, hence an inefficient approach to scheduling your important appointments will have serious consequences. Increased no-shows, staff training cost, security issues, etc can cost you a fortune if you don’t take timely measures to resolve the same. Here in this document, we share some expert insights regarding the best practices that you can implement to avoid such occasions.

Patient Self-scheduling is on-trend

According to Accenture, by 2020, over 40% of appointments will be self-scheduled. With a massive increase in the number of online mobile users, this figure is probably going to increase exponentially in the coming years. With a user-friendly appointment booking system, patients can schedule their appointments whenever they want, no time restrictions. This practice of self-scheduling not only elevate user-satisfaction but help you replace some of your front-office staff who currently spends enormous time for scheduling, confirming, reminding, and re-scheduling appointments by phone.

Appointment Booking in Consecutive Blocks

Studies show that scheduling morning appointments from noon backwards and afternoon appointments from noon forwards can help minimize the empty slots on a daily basis. You can even make use of the blocks of time that are not filled with appointments for documentation, team meetings or other administrative tasks. Besides, scheduling the appointments in consecutive blocks can aid you to diminish your overhead costs significantly.

Reminder System to Reduce No-shows

Setting up an automated reminder system is an excellent way to communicate with your patients. Also, it is a much efficient follow-up process than using phone calls to remind your patients about their appointment. Follow-up emails and SMS, both are proven effective in appointment booking scenario, hence and so, implementing the same can substantially reduce the no.-shows and the revenue loss associated with the same.
Also, offer your patients the privilege to cancel or reschedule the appointments. And if you have any specific cancellation policies, make sure you that policy is included in appointment reminders until the patient confirms their appointment.

Keep a Patient Waiting List Record

No matter how many measures you take to avoid the no-shows and cancellations, those an inevitable occurrences and cannot be avoided always. However, the best way to tackle the situation is to have a patient waiting list ready on your desk. FYI, patient waiting list means the list of patients who would like to prepone their appointments.

Anyway, with an online scheduling system, things are much easier. For Instance, with ABS-Doctor appointment booking software, you can send out a mass text to your current patient waiting list to notify them of availability and have them respond if they’d like to take the open appointment.

Make Good Use of Double Booking

Double booking is a common practice now a day, at least among reputed healthcare organizations. However, it is something one must engage in carefully. It can be implemented when it comes to a practice that has a great demand among the patients, on the other hand, if not handled it with care, it will create stress for physicians and affect patient care too. For instance, double booking can be effectively taken advantage of when a patient calls with an acute illness or injury, or when one patient can be scheduled around another patient who is undergoing a procedure.

What’s Next

Appointment booking has become a necessary standard for healthcare organizations. And in the upcoming years, we will witness a significant hype in the number of enterprises adopting the online scheduling strategy. By the end of 2023, the market is expected to be valued at $360 million. Mobile booking will gain some significant prominence, also we will shift to Cloud-based storage for health records in future for more efficiency.

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To know how ABS can help you streamline your scheduling process, click here.