Best tools for helping clients to make appointments

Jamie Frew
Jamie Frew

Why do you need an online scheduling option for your business?

Appointment scheduling can be a complex process for both practitioners and clients. If a potential client calls the business during a busy time and is put on hold, they may lose interest in the appointment they wanted to book. Similarly, maintaining scheduling and appointments can be difficult for administrative staff, especially if the practice has a large number of practitioners. 

Using an online scheduling option essentially eliminates these barriers and streamlines the process of booking appointments without the need for third-party administrative staff. The potential client can book an appointment at any time of the day without calling the business during its working hours. Reduced hassle means happier clients, and online scheduling features are often an effective marketing tool for businesses. 

The business will have constant access to the scheduling software to change their availability and adjust the time required for certain services whenever they like. Using healthcare software allows clients the flexibility to book appointments at their leisure while the practitioners maintain control over their schedules. Ultimately, incorporating an online option into your practice will ease the process of appointment scheduling, benefiting colleagues and clients alike. 

Is it necessary to have a HIPPA compliant online scheduling app?

A HIPAA relationship technically begins when a person becomes a client, meaning that the process of booking an appointment doesn’t necessarily need to be HIPAA-compliant. However, some specific guidelines and regulations will impact the area you work in, so it is best to check that before making any decisions. Further, particular aspects of the scheduling process can be protected by HIPAA, including the name of the client and any details about their health. If the person booking the appointment is already a client with the business, they will come under HIPAA regulations. These factors make the most sense for the online scheduling app that you use to be HIPAA compliant. Some software platforms cater to both options, allowing the business to upgrade to HIPAA-compliant features at any time, which can suit businesses that are just starting. 

Which are the best tools to help clients make appointments?

In recent years, the increase in telehealth has coincided with an increase in different online healthcare services, including scheduling apps. Choosing the exemplary scheduling service for your business can be overwhelming given the extensive range of options, so we have collated a selection of some of the best and the features they include! 

Carepatron: Carepatron offers a variety of features and services to make the appointment scheduling process as efficient as possible, regardless of whether your business works from the office or home. The appointment scheduling software provides the business with a centralized workflow and two-way synced calendar that ensures you will never have a double booking again. The patient portal allows clients to book their appointments and manage their payments at their leisure. Carepatron also offers automated reminders sent to patients before their appointments, reducing the number of cancellations and no-shows. Carepatron provides a free version and an unlimited version for USD 29/month. The most significant difference is the storage of medical data, so your decision will largely depend on the size of your business. Carepatron offers highly effective tools for private practices, including video conferencing, clinical note storage, and medical billing, all of which are integrated so your business can be optimized! 

Calendly: Calendly is an appointment maker app that allows you to upload your availability and let clients select the time that best suits them. It can be added to your business’s website to streamline the scheduling process and syncs automatically with Google Calendar. The platform is customizable, and depending on your practice’s needs, it can send out automated reminders, check-ups, and follow-ups, engaging with clients and reducing no-shows and cancellations. 

Yellow Schedule: Yellow Schedule offers a HIPAA-compliant appointment scheduling service to connect you with your clients. It is basic and easy to navigate, with a focus on simplifying the process. It makes it easy to organize recurring appointments, as well as changing or rescheduling appointments. Yellow Schedule can sync with other calendars, offers online payments, and sends out automated reminder texts. 

Sprintful: Sprintful gives you access to availability settings, where you can adjust the dates and times that you are available for an appointment. Sprintful is highly customizable for appointment types, and duration, attendee capacity, and price can be altered. The platform also focuses on reducing no-shows and cancellations by only allowing clients to book two weeks ahead, giving short-notice protection, and ensuring a 15 minute buffer period between every appointment. Sprintful offers different prices depending on the features your practice requires, but it is reasonable, with a USD 19/month for the Professional Plan. 

SimplePractice: Simple Practice is a HIPAA-compliant healthcare platform that integrates various features, including appointment scheduling. It syncs across other calendars, and either the practice or the clients can book appointments, which can then be confirmed by text. You can choose to send our automated appointment reminders, and clients have access to a HIPAA-compliant portal that displays appointment and payment information.

Appointment software feedback

Tips to improve appointment scheduling for clients

Moving your appointment scheduling online can seem like a big step for your practice, primarily if you are used to it being done in a certain way. However, the vast benefits of online appointment scheduling will outweigh these doubts, and we’re here to provide you with some strategies on how to improve your scheduling process:

  1. Use A Template: Scheduling templates will allow administrative staff or the software that you use to recognize and understand the times and types of appointments that work best for you. Ask your team to indicate when they prefer to have long or short appointments and use this template to increase the efficiency of your schedule.
  2. Direct Scheduling: Allowing patients to book their appointments reduces time spent on administration tasks and increases the ability for patients to be flexible. Patients should view the schedule of the practitioners and select an appointment time that suits them.
  3. Patient Check-In Tools: There are different tools, including tablets, kiosks, or touch screens, that allow patients to check themselves into the clinic. This process removes the need for administrative staff and is a timely and efficient method that improves patient satisfaction. 
  4. Technology: We have provided you with a list of five of the best appointment scheduling platforms that can help you streamline a time-consuming process. These platforms have been developed to make the administrative tasks of healthcare companies more manageable so that practitioners can spend more time seeing clients and doing what they love. Don’t be afraid to use these services to optimize your healthcare business!

Final thoughts

Appointment scheduling can be a complex process for clients, patients, and administrative staff. The development of appointment scheduling systems will simplify your business so that you can divert your time and resources to other, more important, areas. Most of the platforms mentioned in this article have additional features to optimize your business, including clinical documentation storage, medical billing, and online payments. Selecting the platform that will best suit your business needs will largely depend on the size of your business and how many clients you regularly see. This type of healthcare software will significantly advance the experience of both patients and practitioners at your company!

Medical appointment software

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