As the global population continues to grow, there is an ever-increasing surge in the number of patients seeking care at clinics, hospitals, therapeutic groups, wellness centers, and other medical facilities. Keeping aside the obvious benefits, this increase in the number of patients has put healthcare providers in the face of new challenges.
Of all, the most affected process is appointment scheduling. Hence, a growing number of healthcare facilities are going online with appointment scheduling systems.
Why Traditional Appointment Scheduling is Becoming Obsolete
Healthcare providers who have labored through conventional appointment scheduling processes will relate to the problems associated with it. It is time-consuming, cumbersome, faulty, inefficient, and requires continuous manual management by staff members.
Errors become common, vital information gets ignored, and mix-ups become the order of the day. Overall, a chaotic appointment desk sabotages the reliability and efficiency of the healthcare service.
What is Online Appointment Scheduling?
An online scheduling system or online booking software is a web-based application that lets people quickly and securely book their appointments and reservations online through a web-connected device such as a smartphone, tablet, PC, or laptop. A "Book Now" option is usually available through the medical or healthcare facility's website using which users can access the online scheduling system.
Along with websites, many healthcare providers offer customized mobile apps to book an appointment online. Medical scheduling software like PractiseSuite, Acuity Scheduling, ClickBook, and the like have revolutionized the healthcare sector by making online appointment services more convenient.
Why Choose Online Appointment Scheduling
Online services have several benefits tied to them. Scheduling appointments online, too, has many advantages, both for the healthcare staff and the patients:
- It is a convenient booking method since many patients would prefer not to talk to staff over the phone they haven't met before.
- Patients can avoid frustrating long-hour waits.
- The online appointment system is available round the clock.
- It saves the staff's time who can focus on more pressing tasks.
- The time savings will translate to monetary savings.
- Online scheduling systems come with additional features like automated text messages and email reminders to patients. Hence, there are reduced patient no-shows.
- Some online scheduling systems also come with a feature of patients' record management.
- It's a significant boost to e-marketing since patients' contact information can be used to circulate notifications about promotional drives.
Online Appointment Scheduling in Times of COVID-19
Online booking systems have specifically proved to be a boon in this pandemic situation. While patients can book appointments without waiting in crowded rooms, the 'no-contact booking service' reduces health risks to healthcare providers. In times of social distancing, such technological miracles have immensely helped healthcare facilities control on-spot footfalls.
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Healthcare providers turn to online appointment booking systems to declutter the workflow, save time and resources, and offer patients greater solutions and convenience. In the end, garnering patient loyalty and trust is the most significant advantage of adopting a robust and efficient online booking and scheduling system at a healthcare facility.