Make appointment scheduling easily accessible. This has been the biggest pain point for most patients, for a long time now. The sections above discuss this to some extent and we cannot stress this enough. Making an appointment with your medical practice shouldn’t be like pulling teeth.
You can use free online scheduling software and apps that will empower patients to book and reschedule appointments. If you take one step further, you should use a digital patient intake software to achieve these.
You can have a dedicated person / team (on shore or offshore) that takes care of this function for you. Net-net, patients should be able to call, text, submit an appointment request form on your website and be able to make an appointment within 5 mins. It shouldn’t be a crazy long process – just to get an appointment.
It doesn’t stop here. Patients are busy – much like you are.
Each patient has a hectic schedule – just like you do. Respect that.
- Make it easy for patients to add their appointments to their calendars.
- Make it easy for patients to get appointment reminders (see SMS texting here).
- Make it easy for patients to be able to reschedule or cancel their appointments.
- Make it easy for patients to communicate with your practice
- Make it easy for patients to recall themselves (i.e. set up the next appointment once they get a reminder contact from you)
- Make it easy for patients to update their demographics information and their insurances by using digital patient intake software technologies
- Make it easy for patients to pay their copays, balance dues etc
You don’t have to do these things manually. Make good use of your EMR’s patient portal to help you achieve the same results. A patient portal is simply a website that is connected to your EMR/EHR and is focused on patient access to health data. These tools will help give patients full access to their own data – including lab results, physician notes, their health hist, discharge summaries, and immunizations.
Most of your EMRs/EPMs already include a patient portal.
Use them..Patient portals typically include functionalities such as :
- Appointment Scheduling
- Viewing health information
- Bill pay/view
- Prescription follow-up
- Filling out pre-visit forms
- Medical history update
- Communicating securely with the provider / your office staff
- Digital patient intake
Why not use something that you are already paying for and at the same time reduce the communications overhead for your practice?