A large number of medical practices whether a medical centre or hospital are going online with appointment booking systems. This means proving their patients with the facility of checking doctor schedules in real-time and booking an appointment online.
With the growing use of mobile technology such as smart phones and tablets, it is very important to understand why such a system not only works but can be of great benefit to both the practice and its patients.
Discussed below are some of the main advantages of using an online appointment booking system for a medical centre:
1. Convenience & Ease: The general public now choose to make use of online services more often, anything that is done is considered to be convenient. The perception that people have with doing things online is that it makes life easier for them, in the case of a medical health practice and appointment bookings this rings true. An online booking system allows them to make appointments with their doctor of choosing while they are on the move. In addition to this it circumvents the inconvenience or at times frustration of phone calls and being put on hold. Having accessibility to medical services online allows patients to stay better connected and also makes them feel more in control of their time. It is not only something they want, but something they now expect.
2. Time Saving & Efficient: An online booking system significantly saves time, not only for the patient but also the reception staff who make phone bookings. The simplicity of how a patient can make an appointment online and the fact it automatically gets updated on your practice booking system results in great operational efficiency.
3. Improve customer relationship & communication: An online booking system can also help promote relationships with your patients by sending out automated communication emails to them. The automated emails include booking confirmations, reminders, follow-ups and even thank you emails to obtain reviews. Research suggests one of the main reasons for appointment no-shows was the fact that patients forgot about their booking. Scheduled automated reminders would prevent this and reduce the number of no-shows.
4. Information Management: Managing patients becomes easier and more efficient with online systems. Patient information and records can be saved, updated and maintained via the same system. In addition to patient data managing doctors and other practitioners becomes easier too. You can add in their schedules which would reflect in real-time on the medical centre website allowing patients to make bookings right away. Such as system can be very useful when patients are consulting multiple practitioners within the same medical centre.
5. Perpetually Online: An online system means there is virtually no down-time, so regardless of the time, patients can make an appointment with a doctor at their convenience. This will improve the overall number of bookings too as appointment setting is not limited to just phone calls during medical centre operating hours.
6. Digital Marketing: The data gathered about the patients such as their email addresses and addresses can be used for re marketing and personalization.
In addition the online booking system itself can be linked to paid advertising campaigns on both search engines and social media, thus generating more customers for the medical centre.
7. Cost & Resource Saving: The overall increase in efficiency and productivity translates to savings in costs and resources. The resources allocated for appointment booking can be reduced freeing up time for front desk staff to focus on other important tasks.