Arya just launched our Patient Online Appointment Booking module! This new EHR feature will allow patients to book appointments directly with their physician from their computer or mobile device, wherever and whenever they want. Now you may be saying,
“So what, who cares about patient online appointment booking? The system I currently have works just fine.”
Well, here’s why you need your patients to start booking their OWN appointments directly into your electronic medical records schedule.
Why online booking?
According to a study by Accenture, 77% of patients believe the ability to book, change or cancel appointments online is important. However, according to the CMA, only 13.3% of Canadian physicians reported that they provided the ability for patients to "Request appointments online (i.e., advance access scheduling)" . Online booking is an integral part of a contemporary medical practice and demand for online appointment booking is growing rapidly (it was our number one requested feature).
Let’s take a look at how online booking can streamline your clinic’s operations:
1- Online booking is convenient for your patients
Traditionally, clinics could only accept appointment bookings during business hours, when someone would be available to answer the phone. This could be inconvenient for patients that work full-time hours and may call in during their breaks only to be put on hold. In fact, a recent survey by GetApp found that the majority of respondents, 36%, cited “having to wait too long on hold when booking by phone” as their biggest pain point when it came to scheduling appointments.
With online booking, your patients can book at a time that’s convenient for them and will never be put on hold.
2- Online booking means your clinic is "open" 24/7
If you don’t have a patient self-booking system, your clinic’s business is restricted to operating within hours when someone is available to answer the phone. With online booking, your clinic never “closes” - it can always accept new bookings, giving your team several more hours per week to attract business! In fact, the most popular time to book appointments is typically Sunday between 4-8pm, when most clinics are typically closed.
3- Online booking will save your clinic time
It’s estimated that up to 25% of the cost of running a clinic is spent on scheduling, rescheduling and confirming appointments by phone. By using a patient self-scheduling tool, you can reallocate these resources elsewhere. Wouldn’t you rather have your team working on how to serve your patients better, or taking other administrative tasks off your plate? By implementing an online patient appointment booking system you will be able to assign your team new projects and responsibilities that actually make your clinic more efficient.
With limited hours in the day, growing patient populations, and never ending paperwork, you have to find ways to make your clinic more efficient and automate processes where you can. Online patient appointment bookings is one of those areas that will save you a lot of time and make a significant difference in the available time for you and your staff.
4. - Online booking means you reduce your costs and earn more money
By saving time in your clinic you will also inevitably reduce your costs. Whether this is on phone services, staff hours, cancellations / no-shows / or from your office running more smoothly, you will find that you will have cost savings by implementing online patient appointment bookings. Just think, why would you pay for someone to key in a patient's desired appointment time, when 77% of patients are reporting they would rather do it themselves.
Additionally, If you leave the responsibility of booking an appointment with your patient they are much more likely to show up to their appointment, because they chose the date and time that works best for them. Combine this with our SMS text message appointment reminders and you will have less “no-shows” and thus earn more money.
As your practice grows and you have less and less time to see each patient, you need to invest in tools that will free up your and your MOA's time. Patient bookings no longer need to be handled through a phone call. If patients can book their airline tickets online they can book their doctor’s appointment online. To maintain patient care, free up resources and save your clinic money, patients MUST start booking their own appointments online.
Find out more about Arya EHR and our Patient Online Appointment Booking features.