Posted on September 30, 2021 in General

An ineffective appointment scheduling process has a trickle-down effect that hurts your practice. Delayed schedules, long wait times, late workdays, dissatisfied patients, the list goes on.

Further, when appointments are poorly coordinated, the patient-provider relationship suffers. This creates a negative patient experience that could drive up attrition rates, negatively impacting your revenue. Efficient appointment scheduling makes all the difference in a properly run practice. So, how can you ensure a smooth appointment scheduling process? By offering online self-scheduling.

Patient Self-Scheduling

Enabling your patients to self-schedule makes your appointment scheduling process super-efficient. Here’s a look at some eye-opening statistics from Healthgrades research, showing the importance of allowing patients to self-schedule online:

  • 80 percent of patients would choose a healthcare provider who offers online self-scheduling.
  • Almost 60 percent of self-scheduled appointments are booked past office hours.

Additionally, it takes an average of eight minutes for patients to book their appointments over the phone compared to only one minute when they self-schedule online. Multiply the number of appointments booked through the phone every day by eight minutes, and chances are your front office staff will spend hours just scheduling appointments daily.

With online scheduling, this could be a thing of the past, helping your front office team to recover so much time that could be used to provide better care experiences. Besides, time is of the essence today. And as per Healthgrades stats, patients won’t hesitate to go to the competition if they provide self-scheduling, which is the quickest, most convenient option.

Other reasons why your practice should offer self-scheduling include:

Eliminates Barriers to Care

Not surprisingly, many of your patients may be unable to schedule appointments due to busy phone lines and waiting on hold for a long time. Some patients also find it hard to book visits due to hectic schedules that don’t allow them to call during regular business hours.

All these could be discouraging your patients from seeking care. Self-scheduling does away with such obstacles as it enables patients to book appointments at their most convenient time, whenever, wherever.

Reduces No Shows

Self-scheduling gives patients greater control over booking their own appointments. And based on the Journal of Medical Internet Research, patients are highly likely to show up for visits they scheduled themselves, thus reducing no-shows and preventing loss of revenue for your practice. Although the reason why isn’t clear, it could be because self-scheduling also makes rescheduling or canceling appointments hassle-free.

Drives Patient Acquisition

If you’re still using the traditional office-assisted method of appointment scheduling, high chances are you’re missing out on opportunities to gain new patients. According to data from Healthgrades, offering self-scheduling can be an incentive for patients looking for a new healthcare provider. Additionally, practices that provide self-scheduling enhance patient experience and motivate existing patients to share their positive experiences online, attracting new patients.

Boosts Patient Satisfaction

Calling your practice for scheduling can be full of delays, especially when phone lines are jammed. It’s also only possible during your typical office hours. As such, this method is not only frustrating but also limiting. A real-time appointment scheduler allows patients to schedule at their most convenient time, whether at night, early morning, or over the weekends.

Once patients view appointment availability, they can choose the one that fits their schedule best. This makes your practice more efficient and improves the quality of your service, enhancing the patient experience and boosting satisfaction scores.

Streamline Appointment Scheduling in Your Practice with MDprospects

A well-managed appointment scheduling process can improve patient experience, increase staff productivity, and grow your practice. But it’s not easy streamlining the process without leveraging best-in-class technology like MDprospects. MDprospects utilizes robust tools that make booking appointments a breeze.

Want to learn how MDprospects can help keep your practice on schedule? Please grab a demo today!