There is potential in appointment scheduling that is waiting to be unlocked – have you considered how it could change the experience of working at and visiting your hospital? Appointment scheduling can make your medical staff, your administrative staff and your patients happier, and help things to run more efficiently.
To understand the benefits that appointment scheduling offers, it is best to break it down into two distinct (but sometimes overlapping) categories – benefits to your staff and benefits to your customer.
Benefits for your staff
- Coordinating complex appointments (e.g. surgery requiring staff from different disciplines and associated rooms/resources) becomes easier
- Allowing your staff to integrate their appointments with their Outlook calendar means that less time is spent between two different systems, and the risk of double-booking is lessened
- If your staff field 100 booking-related calls a day, and spend an average of 3 minutes on the phone to each customer, you could save 300 minutes per day. Five hours of staff time can be dedicated to improving in-hospital tasks and attending to face-to-face inquiries
- Reduced costs as a result of better appointment-keeping and smarter use of staff time
- More predictable patient visits(i.e. less random appointments) calms the work environment and may help to alleviate staff burn-out
- When patients pre-book, staff benefit from an existing knowledge of why patients are visiting– this means that staff and resources can be better distributed and that the patient may have a solution to their ailment more quickly
- Improved perceptions as a result of reduced wait times and patient flow
- Better tracking of staff hours worked over time means that you can better allocate resources if there are times of strain or lulls in demand
Benefits for your patients
- Easy for the patient to handle their own bookings(and re-scheduling) themselves, removing reliance on business hours or staff being at their phone. This also means zero time spent waiting on hold on the phone!
- Enhanced in-house experience as there will be less waiting, better communication and clearer instructions from staff
- Automated text or email confirmation, which has been shown to reduce no-shows
- Being attended by staff who are more prepared and attentive in a less chaotic environment
- Easier to communicate to patients when there is a delay or their appointment has been moved
- Improved availability of facilities(like car parking) as a result of better-distribution of patients
Appointment scheduling is half of the battle, once your patient is physically on your premises, make sure that you’ve got visit management sorted out as well.
If you’d like to chat about appointment scheduling solutions, reach out to us on +61 (0)2 9369 1999, we love finding ways to help businesses work more efficiently.