If your health system isn't utilizing an online patient scheduling solution, now is the time to invest in one. According to Market Data Forecast, healthcare providers spent $342.4 million on scheduling in 2020, and that number is expected to increase to $690 million by 2027.
This means that with more healthcare providers investing in scheduling that patient expectations for it will only continue to grow. For healthcare providers, it's even more crucial to invest in the right online patient scheduling solution that's easy to use for patients and providers alike.
Below we've outlined four operational efficiencies of online patient scheduling that both staff and patients will love.
Simplify Appointment Scheduling
It can be challenging for your office staff to provide quality service to patients when they try to multi-task – answering phone calls, collecting payments, and completing other administrative tasks. In fact, practices are losing more than an hour a day per clinician in phone call overhead. This number excludes non-patient calls and considers only the overhead of each phone call, not its productive talk time, so the actual losses may be even higher.
Online patient scheduling is a win-win for both patients and providers. It reduces staff burden so they can spend more time on other tasks, such as providing a positive patient experience for those patients that are physically at your facility.
For patients, online scheduling allows them to avoid the frustration of being put on hold or having to call during business hours. According to a report by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, inconvenient office hours and being put on hold when scheduling an appointment frustrates 56.1 percent of patients. Online scheduling alleviates this problem.
Improve Schedule Management
According to a study by Merritt Hawkins, it takes an average of 24 days to schedule a new patient appointment in 15 of the largest cities in the United States. By utilizing an online patient scheduling solution, you can fill appointments gaps and give patients complete visibility into provider availability.
Today, this is crucial because, according to our inaugural Patient Engagement Survey, 42% of patients aren't willing to wait more than four to seven days to schedule a non-emergency appointment before considering other care options. Even more, 40 percent of patients stated they were only willing to wait one to two days to schedule a non-emergency appointment.
In addition, online scheduling can help decrease your no-shows— which can result in lost revenue, affected workflow, and increased expenses. When patients control their own schedule and are empowered to make their own appointments, they are more likely to show up for their appointments.
Prepare for Appointments
Restaurants can be prepared, know when to expect you, and provide a more seamless experience because you booked a reservation online. This same concept applies to healthcare organizations that use online patient scheduling.
When patients schedule appointments online, your practice has insight into how many patients are coming to your facility and when. This knowledge allows your staff to be better prepared for each appointment by ensuring they have enough space and supplies.
Even more, your practice can more accurately manage and schedule your staff based on the number of appointments. Ultimately, having a better-prepared staff can result in a more positive patient experience.
Streamline Patient Flow
An efficient patient flow is crucial to patient satisfaction and timely patient care, but it isn't always easy to accomplish. One way to streamline your patient flow is to utilize online patient scheduling to intake patient information prior to the appointment.
Today's healthcare consumers expect this from healthcare providers. In fact, 50% of patients say they prefer a doctor who lets them fill out paperwork online.
Paperwork filled out in the office is one of the top delays in patient flow and putting practices behind schedule. Even more, they are more prone to information errors. According to a report by Advisory Board, 61 percent of claim denials result from demographic or technical errors like inaccurate social security numbers, insurance information, and addresses—costing more time and money.
Additionally, in-office intake can also cause high levels of patient dissatisfaction because of the amount of time it can take to fill out all the paperwork.
Utilizing an online patient scheduling solution may require an investment, but it can lead to many benefits such as higher patient satisfaction, increased revenue, and a more streamlined office schedule. To learn more about Stericycle Online Scheduling, visit our webpage.