9 best free appointment scheduling software for healthcare practitioners (2023)

Jamie Frew
Jamie Frew
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What is an appointment scheduling app?

Appointment scheduling software allows practitioners to reimagine their appointment booking experience. They will enable you to book appointments, access calendars, and automatically send out email and SMS reminders in real-time.

Practitioners are busy, and that is not going to change anytime soon. It makes complete sense to use an appointment scheduling app that reduces no-shows, cancellations, and reschedules. Basically, it automates or streamlines most of your scheduling process and workflow. 🙌

It isn't easy to know what to look for in a scheduling tool and how much you should expect to pay.

Why free appointment software?

As a small business owner, it's not likely that you have spare money lying around to invest in appointment scheduling software. đź’°

This doesn't mean that you have to run your booking system on google calendar, social media, outlook, or another Office 365 program. Today as a practitioner, there are plenty of free schedulers available that you can use to improve your workflow and the functionality of your practice.

Features to look out for in an appointment scheduling app for healthcare practitioners

Considering the different aspects of each platform is a crucial part of selecting user-friendly software, which will streamline your business. Which scheduling features do you require? How many people are in your team? 🙋‍♂️

Do you need a scheduling platform that can be used on the move? Are text messages or appointment reminders important to you? Will employee scheduling or online payments through a credit card be a part of the equation?

These are all questions that need to be answered before selecting which free appointment scheduling software is best for you. Some of the most important features to look for include:

  • Ability to customize working hours and block out certain time periods 
  • Ability to customize appointment times  
  • Synchronization with calendar so as to avoid double bookings
  • Automated notifications and reminders for both practitioners and patients
  • Integration capabilities, so the software is cohesive with other systems already in use 
  • Cancellation windows, to avoid no-shows and improve communication 

Once you've decided what the most essential features are for you, then it's time to look at the assessments we've made below of some HIPAA-certified options to choose from.

Evaluation criteria for the top appointment scheduling softwares for healthcare practitioners

With the vast number of different platforms available, it can be overwhelming trying to sort through them all. In order to guarantee you are making the best decision for your practice, here is an evaluation criteria you can utilize when you are analyzing different appointment scheduling systems: 

  • Affordability: This guide is solely assessing appointment scheduling systems that have free plans, so we’ve done a bit of the work for you already! Nevertheless, some of these platforms include features that are only available at an additional cost, so it’s important you keep these costs in mind when making your decision. 
  • Integration Capabilities: It is highly likely that your healthcare business already has some kind of software in place - whether that is electronic health records (EHR), electronic medical records (EMR), a practice management system or anything in between. As such, it is essential that the appointment scheduling software you select is able to be integrated with whatever other system you are already operating.
  • Features: Unsurprisingly, the features that an appointment scheduling system offers says a lot about whether it is suitable. We’ve already touched on the different features you want to keep an eye out for, so keep these in mind when we go over the platforms available. ‍
  • Ease of Use: The best appointment scheduling systems are very easy to use. They should be accessible on mobile devices and simple to navigate - remember, not everyone is a technology expert!

Best free appointment scheduling software

After having considered numerous scheduling software, including but not limited to; quickbooks, zapier, simplybook.me, appointy, setmore, and acuity scheduling ( that is quite a list ✋).  We decided that for healthcare and wellness practitioners, there are 9 free options worth sharing:

Carepatron

Carepatron is an all-in-one digital workspace for healthcare practitioners and their clients. Designed specifically with healthcare in mind. Its functionalities mean practitioners can automate many different aspects of their practice, not just booking appointments and online scheduling. Additionally, Carepatron enables unlimited appointments and user accounts of the free version.

What We Like About the Platform  

- Free version enables unlimited user accounts and appointments

- Explicitly designed with healthcare practitioners in mind

- All-in-one workspace platform

- Award-winning customer support

Features 

  • Calendar synchronization
  • Customizable scheduling 
  • Unlimited staff
  • Mobile app
  • SMS reminders
  • Telehealth video calling 
  • Patient portal where clients can schedule their appointments 
  • Access to clinical notes, documentation storage, medical billing and coding resources and online payments 

Pricing

- Essential - Free

- Professional - $12 per month đź’¸

- Organization - $19 per month

free appointment scheduling app

Square Appointments

In terms of appointment scheduling software for single users, Square Appointments is a good example. They enable access to all of their business management software free of charge, which is great for solo practitioners but does become costly as soon as you require a multi-user option.

What We Like About the Platform  

Square appointments have many advantages✔️, including:

- Unlimited appointments per month

- Access to all capabilities for free

- Email and SMS reminders

- Compatibility with Windows, macOS, IOS, and Android

- Good track run of customer support

- Great mobile app

What is Missing?

- Multi-user paid-plan accounts become costly

- Is not an all-in-one software for healthcare practitioners

- Android app is under development, and a lot of the features do not function correctly that can cause issues with clients

- Was not explicitly created with healthcare in mind

Features: 

  • Mobile app
  • Scheduling 
  • Automated reminders
  • Recurring appointments
  • Multiple time zones
  • Booking website 
  • SEO tools 
  • Customer support 

Pricing

- Free plan for individual users

- $50 per month for 2-5 users

- $90 per month for 6-10 users

Calendly 🎶

Calendly is an excellent software for online booking if you want to present professionally. It also offers robust administration capabilities and a high level of security. Calendly does provide a free version but only giving access to some functionalities and limited email support. In addition to this, the platform they provide is not customizable.

What We Like About the Platform 

- A well-established appointment scheduling software with some advanced features

- Automatic email notifications

- compatibility with Windows, macOS, IOS, and Android

What is Missing?

- Provides limited customer support for the free version

- Lacks booking page customization and has been reported to cause issues with custom objects, fields, and views

- Confusing pricing levels

Features

  • Can connect to Google, Office 365, Outlook and iCloud calendars
  • Create unlimited 1-on-1 events
  • Schedule customizable appointments
  • Automated event reminders 

Pricing

- Basic - Free

- Premium - $8 per month

- Pro - $12 per month

- Enterprise - Contact Calendy directly

10to8 đź•°

10to8 is online booking software that focuses on an instant messaging feature. It can be integrated with some different apps and programs such as Stripe, Paypal, Microsoft, iCloud, and Zoom. You can also embed 10to8 on your social media page. Although it is important to note that 10to8 only allows 100 appointments per month on its free version, its customer support is limited to an online platform. 

What We Like About the Platform 

- Free version can have two staff logins/ service providers

- Calendar sync automation

- Can be integrated and embedded with other enterprises such as PayPal for payment processing

- Live chat feature

- No email marketing

What is Missing?

- 100 schedule appointments limit

- Online only customer support for the free option

- No follow ups

- Appointment confirmation via SMS and email are only available in the paid plans

Features:

  • Unlimited number of clients
  • Recurring appointments
  • Customizable calendar view
  • Approve appointments manually and automatically
  • Secure online payments
  • 1 reminder per appointment
  • Timezone management
  • Calendar sync 

Pricing

- Free Forever - Free

- Basic - $12 per month

- Grow - $25 per month

- Bigger Business - $50 per month

Appointlet

Appointlet is a scheduling app for businesses that don't need a smartphone app. They offer several different features in the free plan and unlimited online appointments but only for one staff member and only supply email reminders.

What We Like About the Platform

- Unlimited scheduling solution per month

- Google calendar and office 365 integration in all plans

- Automated notifications for rescheduling and cancellations

What is Missing?

- Only one staff member/team member on the free version

- Only a web-based interface, so no booking on the go (widget)

- Average customer support

- No point of sale (POS)

Features 

  • Unlimited appointments
  • Can edit and customize availability
  • Prevent double bookings
  • Time zone management
  • Custom intake forms
  • Cancel and reschedule meetings

Pricing

- Basic - Free

- Premium - $8 per month

Appointy 

Appointy is an online appointment scheduling software that is designed to automate the booking process. It focuses on elevating customer engagement and by doing so, improving client satisfaction and retention rates. 

What We Like About the Platform?

- Good customer service 

- Doesn’t have cancellation fees and can change payment plans at any time with no additional cost

- Offers online payment options 

What is Missing?

- Free plan is limited to 100 appointments per month

- Doesn’t offer two-way Google calendar sync with free plan

- Customer support only available through email with free plan 

Features

  • Clients can self-schedule their appointments 24/7
  • Integrate with company’s website 
  • Time zone management 

Pricing 

- Free Plan

- Growth - $19.99 per month

- Professional $49.99 per month

- Enterprise $79.99 per month 

HubSpot

HubSpot’s platform is designed to assist businesses with their content management, sales, marketing and customer service. The system has placed emphasis on creating an intuitive and attractive interface, making it easy to be used by anyone. 

What We Like About the Platform

- Great calendar sync options

- Scalability 

- Offers high security features 

What is Missing?

- Technical support 

- Lacks customer support

- No online payment option 

Features 

  • Email scheduling
  • Mobile optimization
  • Custom domain
  • Multi language options
  • SEO recommendations

Pricing

- Free Plan 

- Starter $50 per month

- Professional $500 per month

- Enterprise $1500 per month 

SimplyBook

SimplyBook, as the name suggests, is a platform designed to simplify the scheduling process. With a wide range of features, and availability in a number of countries, it allows businesses to streamline booking and increase their client engagement. 

What We Like About the Platform

- Wide range of automated reminder options

- Recurring bookings 

- Customizable appointment information 

What is Missing?

- Add-on features have attached fees

- Interface isn’t very intuitive 

Features 

  • 50 included bookings
  • Up to 5 users
  • Booking website
  • Mobile app
  • Time zone management
  • Customizable appointments 

Pricing

- Free Plan

- Basic $8.25 per month

- Standard $24.90 per month

- Premium $49.9 per month 

Zoho Bookings 

Zoho Bookings is a smart scheduling platform that automates appointment booking. It customizes your interface depending on your industry, making it accessible to a wide range of professional fields. 

What We Like About the Platform

- Two-way calendar sync

- Attractive interface 

- Smart solutions

What is Missing?

- Features are limited for free plan

- Only allows for one staff member 

Features 

  • Calendar sync with Zoho, Google, Outlook, Office 365 
  • Schedule online meetings
  • Notification emails 

Pricing

- Free Forever - Free 

- Standard $15 per month 

- Professional $40 per month 

- Premium $60 per month

- Elite $120 per month

- Ultimate $240 per month

Comparing the top features of free appointment scheduling software

‍

appointment scheduling software comparison table

Although every appointment scheduling software will differ, there are certain features to be on the lookout for. As you can see in the table above, Carepatron and Square Appointments excel in regards to available features. And while Calendly, 10to8 and Appointlet have their own advantages, there are some serious drawbacks too. Perhaps the most significant of these is the lack of HIPAA-compliance; without the right amount of protection, patient privacy can be compromised. With fantastic integration capabilities, we think that Carepatron is definitely the way to go. In addition to offering appointment scheduling tools (specifically for healthcare practitioners), the software is integrated with medical billing, online payments, a patient portal and a sophisticated mobile app.

Comparing appointment scheduling apps based on ease of use

appointment scheduling app comparison table

When you are looking for the perfect appointment scheduling software for your practice, you also want to be looking for ease of use. Realistically, there will be both patients and providers at your practice who aren’t experts at using technology. In order to ensure the system is being used to its maximum capacity, you want to guarantee it is both intuitive and has an attractive interface. 

Additionally, you’ll want to be looking for a platform that offers automatic time zone conversions, especially as the rate of telehealth continues to increase and a greater number of patients are accessing remote care. We also think it’s important that the software has patient waiting lists and automated reminders; not only do these features enhance the customization capabilities but they help to significantly reduce no-shows - saving you both money and time!

Which Type Fits You? 🙋🤦

Free appointment scheduling software is an integral part of any modern private practice. It can be hard to choose which of the best appointment scheduling software is right for you.đź‘Š

After assessing all of the different options above, it's clear that Carepatron is the best healthcare booking software. 🙌

In addition to offering free appointment scheduling software, Carepatron also offers these capabilities;

  1. Client records
  2. Scheduling
  3. Notes
  4. CRM
  5. Tasks
  6. Reminders
  7. Telehealth
  8. Client portal
  9. Voice transcription

Further Reading: 

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