MEDICAL APPOINTMENT SCHEDULING
Doctors’ offices are routinely busy. The pandemic might have changed the way doctors see patients but it only increased the need for medical care. Customer service at the clinic is just as important as the service itself but you can only hope your doctor’s office employs enough people to take and process your call quickly.
Scheduling appointments for medical offices is the lifeline of any practice. The balance between effectiveness and profit is crucial in deciding how to handle medical appointment scheduling. There are four options: handle it in-house, outsource it, online, or a mixture of all.
After seeing your doctor, you might need to schedule your next appointment before you leave. In this case, in-house appointment scheduling is the most efficient, but the scheduling’s efficiency will depend on staff size and patient volume. Your employees have to take vacations and they sometimes get sick sick, and you will need help to keep things moving.
Your staff is busy with patient, filing records, and a long list of office-related tasks. Answering the phones becomes the most daunting task in doctors’ offices. Trying to give the caller your undivided attention, patients leaning on your desk, the doctor calling your name – it usually all happens at the time. Outsourcing appointment scheduling can give your staff a breathing room.
Choose a medical answering service that is accustomed to appointment scheduling and is familiar with your electronic health record (or EHR). There are hundreds of web-based EHRs, each specializing in every type of medical practice. From dental offices to orthopedics, you are sure to find a match.
As an office manager of a doctor’s office, you have to decide how much access a third-party service will have. Most, if not all, EHRs can partition patient records to only allow for scheduling appointments and nothing else. Securing your patients’ information is paramount. See HYPE or HIPAA to see the importance of HIPAA.
Some people stay away from online purchases and such. Scheduling an appointment online is no different. Technology is growing, and little by little, even the older generation is getting onboard and online. Having the ability to schedule is essential to any growing practice. It will free up your personnel during business hours, and after hours, it gives your office a 24 / 7 presence.
MIX IT UP
A combination of the three previous options covers you in all situations. On a slow day, your office staff can handle the phones and patient flow. After hours, weekends, and holidays, your patients can go to your website to set their appointments, and some calls can be routed to your medical answering service so they can talk to a live person.
Getting an appointment to see your doctor should always be a phone call away; now, you have options.
Call 888-588-9800 for a free consultation and to find out how Answering365 can help you set up your appointment scheduling service.