Waiting for a doctor’s appointment in a packed waiting room can be a real pain especially when your appointment time is up yet you still haven’t been called. These concerns are not unique to one clinic however some clinics have been able to mitigate these concerns through telehealth services. Though the transition to an online system may seem daunting, there are a variety of digital tools available to help gradually introduce the changes and make this switchover seamless and we’ll show you just how in this blog.
Step One: Analyzing patient booking pattern
Tailoring your appointment schedule to suit your practice is the first step in understanding how your patients book and utilize your services. Start by identifying the most sought-after appointment type (walk-in or pre-scheduled), when bookings surge, the peak hours when the waiting rooms are the busiest, and why clients call (general inquiry, appointment booking, etc.) and how long each call lasts.
Step Two: Making decisions based on your findings
Now that you have been able to identify these patterns, it’s time to find software that can easily be adapted to the needs of your practice, staff and patients. Here are some of the key features that clinic owners/providers should look for when choosing an online booking system.
Ability to gather patient data before the appointment: Online intake forms ensure that you have all the necessary information prior to their appointment. This data includes medical history, past prescriptions, insurance details, and so forth. Gathering this information in advance allows doctors to avoid treatment delays and begin addressing patients’ health concerns right from the start of the appointment, rather than spending time gathering this data during check-in.
Ability to allow patients make their own online bookings: By transitioning to digital patient booking, you can significantly cut down on patient wait time, minimize scheduling inconsistencies, and allow patients to access a physician’s schedule to pick a time that suits them best.
A success story shared by Kaiser Permanente revealed that enabling patients to self-book appointments reduced their wait times from a lengthy 55 days down to just 1 day. Utilizing online booking solutions like Porton Suite allows patients to book an online or in-person visit appointment that fits into their daily schedule.
Mobile queue system: A mobile queue system can prove to be a highly efficient approach to reduce clinic waiting times and improve patient satisfaction. This system allows patients to join a virtual queue that continuously updates their position, giving them the freedom to utilize their wait time more productively, whether that means grabbing a coffee or engaging in other activities rather than idly sitting in a waiting room.
Secure chat for on-the-go patient communications. The secure chat feature serves as a supplementary communication tool that enables patients to receive advice and crucial information promptly. By incorporating this chat feature, your clinic gains the ability to reach patients at any time thus minimizing the need for back-and-forth phone calls and emails. This chat feature also empowers your staff to respond to patient requests without requiring patients to wait until they can directly contact their physician.
Wrapping it up
These tips are designed to assist you in reducing wait time challenges within your practice and initiating a plan to address them using digital technology. Patients are now demanding greater flexibility, convenience, and reliability in the services they utilize, and healthcare is no exception. A report on healthcare consumers revealed that 77% of patient feedback regarding waiting times is unfavorable, with 20% indicating they would switch providers if subjected to extended wait times. Just like any modern industry, failing to adapt to technological advancements and remaining static could lead to falling behind.
Porton Suite provides a comprehensive solution for practices, irrespective of their size or specialization tailored to their specific need. Reach out to us through our website to learn more about how our online patient scheduling solution can enhance your time management and elevate the patient experience. Don’t wait – take action today!