Healthcare doesn't look like it did last year. During COVID-19, optimizing patient engagement, driving patient adherence, and scheduling patient appointments have taken on increased importance. As patients adopt a mix of telehealth and in-person visits, their appointment preferences have changed. But has your patient scheduling tool changed to meet all of your needs?
Telehealth is now more viable and attractive to some patients. Others are putting off routine care. Some need continued monitoring for chronic conditions but feel they must choose between the perceived virus risk of office visits and the risk of postponing care. The common denominator in all of these cases is the need for effective, innovative patient scheduling and patient engagement. But the practices that worked for your healthcare organization in the past could likely benefit from a strategic refresher.
The best patient scheduling solution is one that prioritizes what patients want – convenience, choice, and control. In today's work-from-home environment of less structure and more flexibility, that means both digital self-scheduling and live voice scheduling around the clock.
It can be tempting to think you can sit back and trust the patient scheduling solution to schedule, confirm, and reschedule appointments. But the most advanced users are finding that a handful of simple strategies can increase their effectiveness at attracting new patients, retaining existing ones, and improving access to care.
Some things your scheduling solution should include are ways to:
- Streamline your registration and scheduling processes and use keyword filters and clinical team review processes to expedite patients into the most appropriate venue of care – including telehealth.
- Win the battle for search. Rather than just "spraying and praying" – tossing search keywords into your website text and hoping they draw new patients – your new solution should help you increase the effectiveness of your entire website and improve patient scheduling conversion rates.
- Attract people to your facilities in highly competitive service areas. Who doesn't want to drastically reduce the amount of staff time spent in encouraging patients to use multiple services? Look for a spectrum of multimedia touchpoints that are fully automated.
- Address no-shows. The best choice will automate reminders and rebookings to keep your schedule – and your rooms – filled and free your team from cumbersome processes and unnecessary busywork.
- Handle social distancing with an efficient virtual waiting room. Avoid overcrowding in your facility and reduce viral transmission with online check-in and digital instructions, showing patients that their safety is a priority while keeping your office running smoothly.
Since patient scheduling looks drastically different than it did just six months ago, it's time for a check-up to ensure your solution gives patients the scheduling experience they want while helping you acquire more patients and direct them to the right provider and venue of care at the right time.
For clients who currently using the Stericycle Intelligent Scheduling solution, we've created "12 Strategies to Optimize the Impact of Stericycle Intelligent Scheduling." This clear, actionable guide highlights a dozen tips to improve the scheduling experience for both patients and staff. And if you're not using Stericycle Intelligent Scheduling, this guide gives you 12 reasons to check it out.
Take the opportunity to get the most out of your patient scheduling solution now and download the Guide.