Will online consultation and appointment booking App be the future of Doctors and Clinics?
The healthcare industry is undergoing revolutionary changes all aimed at providing more efficient services. This comes amidst demands for better medical services while at the same time grappling with increased operational costs. Medical practitioners today face more unique challenges which they have to overcome in order to protect their reputation in the profession.
Emerging Challenges for Medical Practitioners
A report published on the Modern Medicine Network lists some of these challenges including adherence to HIPAA regulations, administrative burdens, rising operational costs, payers and patients dictating healthcare, and disruptive technologies among other challenges. If you are a doctor or healthcare administrator, failure to prepare for these changes will lead to problems for your practice.
Leveraging Internet Technology
Over the last decade, healthcare professionals have been forced to come up with new solutions not only to protect their integrity but also enhance their services. The demand for high-quality services in an environment of increasing costs of operation has necessitated the adoption on internet technology as a multi-pronged approach to these problems.
Online consultation and appointment booking is now a common feature in any modern medical practice. As a doctor, you need to harness the immense potential provided by internet technology in modern society.
A PatientPop Survey indicates that a large number of patients today prefer online booking with 47% of respondents vouching for such a solution. Unfortunately, only 17% have that chance. This is just one of the multiple healthcare studies that indicate the importance of internet technology in this industry.
Why Online Consultations and Booking?
If you are a doctor or clinic administrator and you have not yet started leveraging online booking and consultations, you risk losing your patients to other practices.
To appreciate the importance of integrating online consultations and booking into your daily operations, take a look at some of the advantages your practice will enjoy:
- Enhanced Customer Satisfaction
A 2011 BMC Health Services Research highlighted the importance of reducing waiting time for patients at a health facility. The study indicated that while many people are still not using online booking services, a web-based application along with an Android and iPhone app could go a long way in enhancing patients’ satisfaction levels. This is a more effective alternative to the traditional queuing system. By increasing the satisfaction levels of your patients, you will not only build a loyal customer base but you will also increase your revenues.
- 24/7 Convenience
Online booking allows patients to book appointments any time as long as they are online. This means they can book even in the middle of the night or when they are in a different of the world. This offers a lot of convenience and it also ensures a discreet appointment alternative to the traditional queue system.
- Avoiding Patient No-shows
A study by PatientPop shows that unfulfilled appointments can cost your practice a lot of revenue. According to the American Journal of Medicine, the no-show rate of Americans stands at 23-34% which makes revenues unpredictable. When using a traditional booking system, the rate of no-shows is very high and this can dent your clinic’s revenues in a big way. With an online booking system, patients receive reminders and emails and this reduces missed opportunities.
- Improved Efficiency
The atmosphere in a medical facility is always busy and over time weaknesses will develop which will lead to low productivity. For instance, your front desk office will spend a lot of time on the phone scheduling appointments. With online booking and scheduling, you will reduce such hurdles to productivity by releasing your staff form the phone and having them doing more urgent tasks in the clinic.
A web-based booking and scheduling system means everyone knows the level of resources required to handle the number of patients expected. There are reminders for everyone in the system including patients, doctors and the administrative staff. Such a working environment guarantees enhanced services to the patients.
- Reduced Costs Of Operations
With reduced staff at the front desk, you will cut costs of operations. More importantly, you will reduce losses associated with missed appointments. An optimized healthcare facility also means less wastage which is what every doctor wants.
- Attracting New Patients And Retaining Older Ones
As a doctor, you appreciate how hard it is to attract new patients in this highly competitive industry. Millennials have fully adopted technology and you can attract new patients from this population segment. Your older patients will also enjoy the increased efficiency and become loyal to your clinic.
Online consultations ensure faster resolutions and boost productivity in your operations.