Today’s society lives in a digital world; the internet is an integral part of making purchases, reservations, and bookings. Your patients want the ease of access and convenience to make appointments and stay in contact with your office wherever they may be. There are many pros and cons to implementing new technologies and procedures within your practice, let’s take a look at some of the considerations you should make when deciding if online appointment booking would be appropriate for your office.
Some Obstacles With Online Appointment Booking
Issues may arise with new patients booking through an online portal without having verified insurance coverage. They may show up to an appointment unaware that they are not covered or authorized by their insurance to be seen at your office. This causes unnecessary stress on your staff as well as the patient who now either must pay out of pocket or possibly find another provider. This issue could be mitigated by having staff call in advance of new patient appointments to verify and confirm insurance coverage.
There may be times when staff is scheduling appointments in your office or over the phone and a double booking through the online appointment system may occur. A well-designed EMR and Patient Portal should keep your scheduling team notified of incoming online bookings to prevent double bookings or scheduling conflicts.
Losing Some Personal Connection
With technological advances oftentimes comes a loss of that extra level of personal interactions with your patients and staff. Booking through an online portal eliminates one level of individual communication from your staff to your patients. It eliminates an opportunity to sell your brand and services. Your patient coordinators are ambassadors for your brand, a connection that is lost when moving to online booking.
Learning Curve for Staff and Patients
With any new implementation, there will be a learning curve for not just your staff but also your patients. Some patients may be uncomfortable with online scheduling or may be unable to make appointments in this manner. A poorly designed online scheduling experience can negatively impact your patient’s experience. This will reflect upon YOU and your practice – not your software vendor.
Benefits of Online Appointment Booking
At the top of the list of benefits for implementing online scheduling is the convenience added for patients. Patients can schedule appointments in a moment’s notice and change or cancel appointments quickly and efficiently with online appointment booking.
Reduces Strain on Staff
Once your office staff has learned the ins and outs of the online appointment booking system it will free their time to focus on more pressing office matters. Although you may occasionally receive calls to make appointments, once your patients are aware of your online booking system the majority of your appointments will be made in that manner. This will drastically reduce the number of calls to your practice to book appointments.
Integrating online appointment booking with your practice will not only provide patient instantaneous appointment confirmations but they will also receive automated reminders about their upcoming appointment at your office. This will decrease the number of no shows to your practice as well as allow patients with last-minute conflicts to cancel or change their appointment quickly and your office will be updated through the system.
Ultimately your goal is to provide patients with a positive experience with your office. By providing options such as online appointment booking you are prioritizing their time and need for ease of access and convenience thus increasing overall patient satisfaction.
What Can Practice Pro Do For Your Practice?
At Practice Pro our experienced and professional team can help you decide which solutions are needed when it comes to elevating your practice. Let us help you discover how our Practice Pro EMR and the patient portal can help grow your business, streamline processes and elevate the patient experience.
With our well-designed Practice Pro software, your office will be running efficiently benefitting your patients, your staff, and your overall practice.
Schedule a demo today here and find a better way to empower your practice and patients.