How To Build An Efficient Appointment Calendar

Patient scheduling appointment systems refer to software developed to assist healthcare businesses in managing appointments and bookings. These systems sync the calendars of all team members to generate a unified schedule, improving productivity across the company.

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What is a patient scheduling appointment system?

What is a patient scheduling appointment system?

Patient scheduling appointment systems refer to software developed to assist healthcare businesses in managing appointments and bookings. These systems sync the calendars of all team members to generate a unified schedule, improving productivity across the business. Using an appointment scheduling system will eliminate the administrative hassle and save valuable time to see and treat clients. Implementing appointment scheduling software is also highly advantageous for patients, as it gives them greater flexibility in booking, rescheduling, and canceling their appointments. The recent surge in telehealth has coincided with the development of new scheduling software, with the market size at USD 223.83 million in 2019 and expected to reach USD 588.10 million by 2027 (Verified Market Research, 2021). Research also suggests that patients are increasingly inclined to choose medical clinics that offer online scheduling, so it truly is in the best interest of your business to utilize an efficient appointment system!

What are the benefits of a medical appointment system?

The daily routine of almost any healthcare practitioner is based around their appointments with clients, so ensuring that this schedule is as efficient as possible will help maximize productivity. The benefits of using a medical appointment system in your practice are vast and include:

  • Reduces Administrative Work: The process of creating an effective schedule that accounts for everyone’s rosters is time-consuming and complicated. Using a medical appointment system eliminates these difficulties and allows staff to use their time on more important tasks rather than spending countless valuable hours on the phone booking clients.
  • 24 Hour Availability: With a medical appointment system, patients no longer have to wait until the clinic’s opening hours to book an appointment. Clients live busy lives, so giving them the flexibility to book, reschedule or cancel appointments at their convenience is highly appealing. 
  • Online Payments: Medical appointment systems are usually integrated with online payment options, encouraging patients to make their payments promptly. Different payment methods are often accepted, meaning that patients have more flexibility with paying for a service.
  • Fills Up Empty Slots: There are often particular time slots that will remain unbooked for medical practices. Online appointment systems lead to these slots being filled up more regularly, increasing the clinic’s revenue. This is also advantageous for patients, as they can look at a daily appointment calendar and book last-minute and same-day appointments.
What are the benefits of a medical appointment system?
What are the types of appointment systems in hospitals?

What are the types of appointment systems in hospitals?

Most hospitals have limited resources and successfully streamline patient appointments to fit a tight schedule. The appointment calendars for hospitals have to account for both unplanned urgent bookings and pre-booked appointments, all catering to an extensive range of services. Below is a selection of the types of appointment systems that are used in hospitals:

  • Pre-bookable Appointments: These appointments can generally be booked up to 4-6 weeks in advance. Bookings ahead of time ensure that patients who don’t need urgent care will still receive an appointment with a physician.
  • Urgent Appointments: Hospitals and medical clinics need to allocate time in their appointment calendars for same-day bookings that require immediate care.
  • Telephone Consultations: Healthcare often will incorporate telephone consultations with patients who don’t need to come into the clinic to receive medical care. Patients can leave a message with the front office staff, and doctors or nurses will call them back as promptly as possible. 
  • Online Appointment Calendars: The most efficient healthcare practices use online appointment calendars to document and organize their appointments. Appointment calendars streamline an otherwise complicated process and ensure that patients receive the care that they need.

Tips to build an efficient appointment calendar

An effective appointment calendar will guarantee that your healthcare practice is as productive as possible. We have collated some key strategies that can help guide you in generating an efficient appointment calendar: 

Set up availability and services

The first step to creating an effective appointment calendar is to upload the offered services and available appointment times. The calendar should include information regarding the duration and prices of services and the available practitioners during each time slot. Ensure that you keep some time free for lunch and other breaks, and including a 15-minute buffer between each appointment can be an effective method of managing appointments that run overtime.

Create automated reminders

Reducing no-shows is often a high priority of healthcare practices, as they lead to a loss in revenue and waste valuable time. Creating customized reminders is often a part of scheduling systems that leads to a significant reduction in no-shows. These reminders are sent out to patients before upcoming appointments and have reduced up to 99% of no-shows.

Set up calendar sync and app integrations

You and your colleagues likely utilize various calendars, including Google, iCal, and Outlook. Setting up two-way calendar sync will integrate these schedules and eliminate the possibility of double bookings. Another important way to optimize your appointment software is by incorporating other apps your business uses, including social media, marketing, and video conferencing tools. Integrating your apps will allow patients to have a seamless experience with your business and the services you offer.

Share your online booking system

Marketing is an important step in implementing any new feature into your business, and using an online booking system is no different. Ensure that your existing patients have been sent information regarding the new booking system, and try and expand your clientele by sharing your new system via your website, social media platforms, and email campaigns. 

Add the appointment calendar to your website

The final important step to implementing an online booking system is adding it to your website. After you have established your new system and are ready for it to be used, add a link to your website that clients can click and will be taken to the booking page. Using a website plugin or a customized calendar widget can encourage patients to use your site to access the new appointment system.

Bottom line

Implementing an online appointment calendar is advantageous to both patients and practitioners. It streamlines a complicated process, improves flexibility, and saves a significant amount of valuable time. Carepatron is a HIPAA-compliant healthcare platform with appointment scheduling features that will significantly benefit your healthcare practice. It syncs with Google, iCal, and Outlook calendars, generates automated appointment reminders, and provides businesses with a centralized workflow, so everyone remains up-to-date with the current workload. Carepatron integrates with various other features that can benefit your healthcare practice, including clinical note storage, telehealth video conferencing, and medical billing and coding. If you are looking to streamline the scheduling process and maximize productivity in your practice, then implementing an online appointment calendar is undoubtedly the way to go!

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Tips to build an efficient appointment calendar

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