Outpatient clinics and other healthcare facilities are currently geared towards increasing patient satisfaction while reducing operating costs. Hospital administrators are exploring efficient ways on how to improve patient scheduling.
What is patient scheduling?
Patient scheduling is the process of assigning walk-in patients to a certain time schedule for medical consultations. A smooth patient scheduling system translates to efficient patient flow, lower operating costs, and minimal stress to both patients and medical staff. Waiting time is reduced and the patients feel valued and satisfied (Lindh, Tamparo, Dahl, Morris, & Correa, 2018).
How can software improve patient scheduling?
Traditionally, patient scheduling has been achieved via the phone or in person. However, these methods have caused a fair share of stress in the past. Telephones would constantly ring. People not scheduled on that day would occupy waiting areas, looking to secure an appointment for the next day.
With information technology, medical administrators are now able to schedule patients online, through a website or a patient portal system. A patient scheduling software allows automated management of patient appointments. Through this, it addresses the problems associated with the traditional methods of scheduling.
We list down three major ways by which a patient scheduling software could enhance your scheduling process.
1. Patient Pre-registration
Scheduling software allows patients to avail of pre-registration. Patients could log in to the software, enter their personal details, and state their purpose of visit.
Important medical data such as medications, allergies, medical history, and family history could also be entered into the software.
The software could also be equipped with insurance eligibility checks to make it easier for the health facility to determine whether the patient has insurance.
Patient Fusion is an online patient portal that gives patients access to their own records. Patients can input their data such as medications, medical history, allergies, and symptoms through a digital intake form. These data are then shared with their doctors. Doctors could then add and update the records based on the latest patient visit.
The software also features an insurance eligibility check. Patients are asked to input details such as the insurance company name, insurance plan, ID, and effective date.
These features of Patient Fusion reduce the time and work required for filling up patient data during each patient visit. This equates to smooth patient flow and reduced crowding in hospital waiting areas.
2. Appointment Reminder System
Automated appointment reminders benefit both clinicians and patients. For health personnel, the use of an appointment reminder system saves their time from repeatedly calling patients. This leads to an increase in productivity, as staff members could focus on other tasks. Forgetfulness among patients is not a rare situation. Appointment reminders address this problem and this leads to a reduction in no-shows. Moreover, patients feel satisfied and valued when they receive automated reminders.
NueMD is medical scheduling software that provides an appointment reminder service for its users. Reminders are sent via SMS or phone calls. Patients are then given the freedom to change, confirm, or cancel their appointment upon receipt of the reminder. Other features of the NueMD software include patient registration, patient tracking, and electronic health records.
Another benefit of patient scheduling software is the ability to directly connect and communicate with your health care team. Third-party apps could be integrated into the software. This feature lets the patient send queries, renew prescriptions, and confirm or cancel appointments. Messages sent between physicians and patients are kept secure, to preserve patient confidentiality. Example: Medentee.
One app that is commonly used by hospitals is the MyChart app. MyChart allows patients and caregivers to send non-urgent questions regarding medical care. Physicians could then easily respond to such queries. This feature of healthcare software fosters the doctor-patient relationship, which contributes to better patient outcomes. Other features of the MyChart app include medical record viewing, health history viewing, and bills payment.
The Bottom Line
Patient scheduling software is a valuable tool in improving work efficiency among clinicians and increasing patient satisfaction. Through services such as patient pre-registration, appointment reminders, and direct messaging, healthcare software systems enhance health delivery to patients.
For this reason, Technorely is committed to helping hospital administrators establish their own patient scheduling software systems. Through a team of IT experts and health consultants, Technorely can provide robust, secure, and easy-to-use software for clinicians, personnel, and patients.