There are different challenges when you have a medical practice set up in your town or at a big hospital. On one hand, you want to maximize your care and productivity and see as many revenue-generating patients as possible. On the other hand, you want to avoid long patient wait times and keep patient satisfaction high by giving each the attention they deserve. How do you balance the two, apparently competing for interests?
Are you ready to save time and run a more efficient practice? Think you can’t do that and provide a better patient experience? Well, think again! Don’t get bogged down in tedious tasks when you could grab the opportunity to focus on your patients instead. Here we are with 4 awesome tips to schedule patients. Using the tools that are already available over the internet.
1. Implement patient self-scheduling-
Did you know that the average phone call to schedule an appointment takes over ten minutes? Have you ever imagined how many thankless hours you have been spending on just for scheduling an appointment each day?
Some practices field all appointment scheduling calls to a designated person who may typically be a nearly poorly paid worker. Or if you are at a smaller practice, you may have only one staff member who handles pretty much all the front office management work. With new advances in technology, this is now an area where you may be able to cut back on the unnecessary expense of an “appointment scheduler” and allow the majority of patients to fix appointments online are for the same day or the next day, filling up empty spots on your personal booking page. Practices now have the ability to offer real-time patient scheduling anytime and from anywhere with Internet access. Online scheduling is new to healthcare and offers greater benefits for both practice and provider.
2. Avoid double bookings-
A more daunting problem is the practice that consistently struggles with more demand than scheduling parameters can meet, resulting in the need for double-booking, a dreaded nuisance that seems guaranteed to sabotage the schedule. Ignoring this demand jeopardizes efficiency and customer service. If double-booking means adding just a few patients a day, this can be handled creatively and keep you on schedule. Simply schedule the work-in patient alongside a new patient visit. This allows the physician to see the add-on while the nurse is working up the new patient. On the other hand, if demand in the practice results in a need to double-book patients excessively, it's time to look for long-term solutions. Automate the bookings with online scheduling software that perfectly fits into your clinic. Manage your days with new patients and existing ones like breeze.
3. Use data to identify trends-
Today’s technology has provided us with the tools to help us better understand specific scheduling and patient inflow problems. Most scheduling systems have the reporting abilities to accurately track patients through the practice including appointment times, arrival times, time to be seen by the physician, and when the patient's visit was completed. By taking a quick glance at monthly/weekly reports of all your data, you will have adequate information to identify the thin lines and the root causes of your scheduling and patient-flow problems. This information is significant for digging deeper to evaluate specific measures and determine what causes the bottlenecks and work-flow problems in your medical practice.
4. Prioritize appointments-
Patient visits vary in the proportion of time requirement and level of attention needed. Consider these factors as you determine where and when to schedule your patients or whether you even need to put them on the schedule at all. Many patient issues can be resolved with a brief phone call or email. Have the staff member who fields incoming calls use their best judgment to evaluate each call to determine whether to schedule the patient or have your nurse or doctor address the issue via a phone consultation. This approach ensures patients needing the highest level of care have better access to same-day appointments if necessary and practice profitability is maximized by treating patients with more complicated or significant medical concerns. Also, most of the scheduling software, like picktime, provide recurring booking option that can be of great help for patients who need to meet at regular intervals for check-ups.
Every medical practice needs a chance for advancement, and there are many ways you can increase office efficiency in order to keep processes smooth-sailing. Just automate appointment bookings, Manage your online reputation and gather reviews, Build relationships with patients between appointments for better productivity and improve your medical office through Picktime web-based scheduling software.