There are many factors health systems need to consider when selecting a partner to implement an enterprise scheduling system that reaches all venues of care across the full spectrum of a patient’s healthcare journey. True healthcare enterprise scheduling helps build patient awareness and gives consumers the benefit of anytime, anywhere convenience of use by helping them find the right medical provider and venue of care at the right time. An enterprise scheduling platform should also enable health systems to attract new patients, retain existing ones, fill schedule gaps, and reduce no show rates.
By following these tips, health systems can eliminate guess work when choosing an enterprise scheduling solution.
An enterprise scheduling solution for health systems should be designed to give consumers the same experience that’s offered by retail and other established, easy-to-use online resources. A well-designed, integrated patient scheduling platform covers urgent care, routine appointments, and specialty practices, as well as lines of service including diagnostic tests and vaccines. An enterprise scheduling solution for health systems should also be designed to give consumers the same experience that’s offered by retail and other established, easy-to-use online resources. By serving the totality of a patient’s needs, providers can deliver a true enterprise scheduling solution.
Integrable with Existing Systems
Using an enterprise scheduling solution, health systems can optimize efficiency and productivity through integration with electronic health records (EHR), customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, and revenue cycle management (RCM) systems. This integration in an enterprise scheduling solution, combined with delivering a branded look and feel, enables providers to reduce errors, coordinate complex care flows, and generate greater scheduling accuracy.
Health systems should only partner with a company that is accredited by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to safeguard the sensitive patient information that is stored in an enterprise scheduling system. It is crucial to implement a solution that is ISO 27001 certified, the international information security standard. A certified scheduling solution has met ISO requirements for establishing, implementing, maintaining, and continually improving an information security management system.
Although there are countless start-up companies that offer online scheduling platforms, it’s important to partner with an accredited company that has a proven track record of keeping data secure, especially as a health system’s patient database increases over time. When choosing a patient scheduling solution, find out up front what security standards each potential partner adheres to and obtain a report that outlines its data security history as well as any past breaches that may have occurred.
Implementing a patient engagement platform that’s flexible, adaptable, and easy to maintain makes customizability another key aspect when choosing an enterprise scheduling solution. To ensure that healthcare providers have all the information they need prior to the time an appointment occurs, a customizable solution enables health systems to obtain a range of predetermined patient-specific information. This includes customized form fields designed to capture information that ensures the patient is scheduling an appointment with the appropriate type of physician.
If users can’t quickly figure out how to use an enterprise scheduling solution because of inferior design, its adoption rate will be negatively impacted. By following the guidance of eye-tracking studies, the solution should be designed to include features and functionalities that are similar to many of the most popular e-commerce sites. An intuitive, learnable website designed to follow F-shaped reading patterns includes a search tool at the top, filters on the left, and prominently placed calls to action, all of which help increase online patient conversions.
By incorporating logos, brand colors, and other assets into the scheduling solution’s administrative console, health systems can customize the patient experience. When choosing a scheduling platform, it’s important to work with a partner that offers a white-label approach which will prominently position the provider’s brand to create a seamless patient experience.
Application Programming Interface
By creating entry points to scheduling virtually anywhere online, an Application Programming Interface (API) can be used to facilitate scheduling by way of the user’s traceable digital activities or “footprint.” For example, if a patient is visiting a health system’s imaging services page, API technology can be used to show the location of the system’s nearest imaging center as well as available appointments that can be booked without the need to navigate to a different page.
Scheduling solutions with limited capacity to store increasing amounts of data will not be sustainable and are likely to present challenges as a health system’s patient population grows. Companies in business for months versus decades have virtually no history of maintaining a scheduling platform for companies operating at scale.
Free Isn't Always Good
Lastly, some companies might choose to team up with a partner that offers a scheduling solution at no charge. In such cases, let the buyer beware. While a free Netflix trial or a free credit report might be beneficial to millions of consumers, a health system should carefully consider housing highly sensitive patient data and daily scheduling management in a solution that costs nothing. An effective enterprise scheduling solution that delivers value, security, and efficiency requires a reasonable investment by any health system that takes patient care seriously.
Learn More About Intelligent Scheduling from Stericycle
These tips are intended as a guide to highlight key characteristics of a robust, state-of-the-art, true healthcare enterprise scheduling system. Stericycle Communication Solutions is the only company that offers patients the convenience of digital self-scheduling, and our HIPAA-compliant solutions are simple and convenient for patients to use. Enterprise scheduling solutions from Stericycle deliver the power, flexibility, and scalability that growing health systems can rely on.