Want to know a secret to getting more patients into your practice?
Make it easy for them to book appointments.
Yes, this seems deceptively simple – of course more patients will book appointments if it’s easy. But what does easy actually look like?
Before we get into it, let’s start with what easy doesn’t look like – but is too often the norm for most medical and dental practices today. Easy isn’t your patients playing phone tag with your front desk staff. Patients don’t like coordinating their busy schedules with your changing availability. Easy isn’t getting an appointment booked 3 months out for a health issue they’re concerned about right now. And easy isn’t your staff jumping between multiple software systems to keep appointment calendars, billing, and patient health records current.
An automated appointment scheduling software that’s updated in real-time, allows for after-hours booking, and easily available to existing patients and prospects wherever they happen to find you online.
Web-based appointment software isn’t new. Free scheduling apps like Calendly or Doodle are popular for setting business meetings or sharing social invitations with friends and family – but they’re not the most professional options for a busy healthcare practice. And they won’t automatically sync with the software your practice is already using. Happily, today’s modern healthcare providers now have access to HIPAA-compliant medical scheduling software that syncs with the other digital tools they’re already using.
Here are the benefits to consider in choosing the right patient booking tool for your practice.
Benefits of Using an Online Scheduling Tool
- Simplicity. With the NexHealth scheduling tool, patients and prospects can easily see your current availability and set an appointment with a tap on their smartphone, tablet, or computer. The widget can be added to Facebook and Google profiles and your practice website, increasing the likelihood of patients booking an appointment and getting a better ROI from your digital marketing spend.
- After-hours scheduling. Patients no longer need to wait until your office opens to make an appointment. Online scheduling is always available. If prospects are searching for a healthcare provider after the kids are in bed, or while drinking their 5AM morning coffee before work, they can book their appointments then.
- Filling cancellations. Schedules change and life happens, and sometimes appointments are rescheduled. Rather than lose that time and revenue, you can fill those scheduling gaps easily because your online calendar is updated in real-time. Patients that may have had to previously wait weeks for an appointment can now see the gap in your schedule, and claim it for themselves.
- Save staff time. In the past, practice staff have spent untold hours on the phone confirming appointments, calling patients with care reminders, and responding to appointment requests. Automated online scheduling allows them to focus on the patients that are in your office, improving patient engagement and satisfaction.
- Software integrations. A scheduling tool can integrate with the software you’re already using for practice management, reducing the potential for errors and incompatibility issues. The most robust booking softwares offer integrations with billing, EHR, and other practice tools to provide a seamless, reliable experience for staff and patients.
- No ‘extra’ software required. While many practices use online portals to manage scheduling, those portals often require a new login, password, and sometimes additional software downloads. For older patients, who may not feel as tech-confident as younger generations, this can present a significant hurdle in finding a healthcare provider and simply booking an appointment.
- Acquiring new patients. Prospective patients want to feel as valued and cared for as your existing patients. Offering an easy booking experience starts off your patient-provider relationship on the right foot, which goes a long way in making new patients into long-term ones.
Adopting new software tools to manage your practice can streamline your day-to-day operations, save your staff time, and help you serve patients better. But beyond those benefits, it can also have a direct impact on your practice revenue. With an online scheduling system, you can dramatically increase your patient base and grow your practice, while having the time and focus to provide the high-quality medical or dental care that attracted those first patients that came through your doors.