Promote Online Patient Scheduling Through the In-Person Experience
Why You Should Be Promoting Online Patient Scheduling During In-Person Appointments
An in-office engagement with a patient is a key opportunity to promote online scheduling. It is important for staff to go the extra mile when implementing an online patient scheduling solution to ensure it truly provides an exceptional patient experience. This means that your organization needs to spend time thinking about innovative ways to reach patients and promote online scheduling.
Benefits of Online Patient Scheduling
Online patient scheduling is a healthcare convenience that most consumers are familiar with, and often prefer using due to its availability and efficiency. Providing patients with information on tools to schedule online decreases cancellations and no-shows and increases the chances of successfully rescheduling appointments, saving the healthcare facility time and money. Direct knowledge of availability for same-day and last-minute appointments for emergencies and other health concerns provides additional support and even comfort for patients who want to know exactly when they can be seen.
Why Offering Online Patient Scheduling is Imperative
The world of healthcare is an ever-evolving space. As appointments are more difficult to secure and healthcare facilities are continuously facing resource shortages, a seamless online scheduling solution is often ideal for patients who expect quality and efficient service. Online patient scheduling also frees up providers and staff to enhance the quality of in-person appointments.
The Consumer Experience Trends in Healthcare 2021 report states that nearly 63 percent of patients prefer to book an appointment through versus 37 percent who prefer making appointments by Patients today value convenience and a variety of options when it comes to their healthcare.
In fact, 77% of consumers believe that the ability to book, change, or cancel healthcare appointments online is a when it comes to scheduling appointments.
Creating a Personalized Patient Experience
Entice patients to use online scheduling by providing a unique experience only offered to those who are utilizing this service. Creating a personalized experience is a powerful driving force that can boost patient satisfaction and engagement. Consider offering a dedicated waiting room for patients who book their treatment time online or preferred parking spots for online scheduling users. Keeping up with KPIs that report patient use data and other important patterns will be beneficial when measuring performance and further enhance personalized outreach.
Patient communications should always include the benefits of online scheduling services. Enhance patient messaging for all demographics by providing print collateral (appointment cards, flyers, reception areas, etc.) and direct mail campaigns that reinforce positive messaging points, as well as a full integration through all patient communications channels promoting online scheduling. This includes but is not limited to emails, texts, on-hold messaging, IVR, and social media.
Scripts also help front desk staff and providers deliver friendly, personalized, and consistent greetingsfor patients who check-in or schedule appointments online. Successful scripts help your team acknowledge the patient and any accompanying family members, greet the patient by name, and let them know you've been expecting them. Scripts include updates on the duration of wait times, explanations on next steps and what patients can expect, and guidance on thanking patients for choosing you.
Showing Support of Online Patient Scheduling
While some patients may initially feel that the idea of online scheduling is daunting, highly trained staff can offer support while detailing the benefits of having access to self-scheduling. To promote excitement within a healthcare center, an announcement with all the proper information (links, instructions, PDFs, flyers, etc.) should be provided to patients. With continuous and extensive training at every level, staff members are the champions when it comes to promoting and supporting online scheduling tools.