Are you currently using an online booking system for your healthcare clinic? If not, you may be damaging your reputation with your patients and leaving money on the table. Below we’ve outlined 10 reasons why you should be using an online booking system. Implement these and watch your business soar.
#1 – Reduces Patient No-Show and Cancellation Rates
In 2013 there was a study published by ZocDoc.com that analysed the appointment records made over a 6-month period. They found there were fewer (6.9%) no-show and cancellations when booking through an online platform compared to booking within the clinic.
It’s no surprise that decreasing patient no-shows and cancellations will instantly increase revenue, and naturally it will also increase the average number of appointments made per client.
#2 – Reduces Wait Times
If a patient requires to physically come to your clinic in order to book a future appointment, then you should consider implementing an online booking system immediately. What’s worse is that your competitors may have already setup their online booking systems and could easily steal away your patients.
Your patients could be wasting hours of time driving to your clinic and waiting to book an appointment when they could have simply visited your website and booked an appointment in as little as 3 clicks.
#3 – Flexibility: Allows Patients to Book Anywhere, Anytime
#4 – Builds Trust: Helps Patients Feel More Informed & In Control
Now more than ever, patients want to feel that they’re informed and in control of their own medical information, and can, at will, pull up their information.
An online booking system helps to build trust between you and your patients by allowing you to automatically set reminders for them days or even hours before their appointment schedule so they don’t feel embarrassed or have to pay a ‘no-show’ fee if they forget.
When booking an appointment, they can simply go into the system and see which team member is available at a time and day that’s most suitable to them. Booking the appointment only takes a few clicks and once complete, this can be ‘pushed’ to any calendar app on their phone which can send them follow up reminders of when they’ve scheduled their appointment.
Patients can also be reminded that they’re information is stored securely on the cloud and don’t carry the risks that storing information on a local machine might have.
#5 – Boosts Honesty & Responsibility
Booking systems can remove the confusion and boost honesty between staff and patients when booking appointment times.
Was the appointment at 3pm or 4pm? Monday or Thursday? This type of confusion can lead to patient dissatisfaction.
With a booking system – the patient can clearly see the available times for each staff member in the clinic. It’s set out in a way that gives the patient full control over choosing a booking time and securing their spot.
#6 – Hassle-Free Management
An online scheduling system gives you back control of your schedule and appointments. At a quick glance, it gives you a complete overview of when you and your staff are treating patients and gives you the opportunity to plan activities during the quieter times.
You control who can views and edits the schedule, allowing your management team to step up and ‘run the show’. Setting expectations with patients on how much notice they must give if they’re thinking of cancelling or rescheduling an appointment is another powerful benefit to an online booking system.
#7 – Reduced Staff Labour
A systematic review of web-based medical appointment systems was published in 2016, which reviewed the adoption of web-based appointment systems across 36 different articles. The finding concluded that among other impacts, staff labour associated with creating and handling bookings was the #1 most cited benefit for implementing online booking systems.
Automating a laborious task will save you time and require less human resources.
#8 – Reduces Costs
Having an online booking system reduces staff labour, which, in turn, reduces costs.
The more automated a system is, the less human interaction is required – and an online booking system can help to remove the laborious tasks that a staff member will need to do if they were scheduling an appointment manually for a patient.
Time spent on the phone gathering patient information, negotiating appointment times and then reconfirming and correctly entering this information into the current system can all be saved.
It also removes the dreaded follow up phone call when a patient doesn’t show up or call ahead for a scheduled appointment that they’ve missed.
#9 – Competitive Edge
In a time where competition is as fierce as ever, you need a reason to stand out to your patient. Allowing patients to conveniently schedule an appointment enhances their perception of your business.
When patients realise how easy it is to book with you and have a great in-clinic consultation, then they’ll naturally spread the word to their friends and family.
Many businesses are built off referrals, which can go a long way in helping to expand your client base.
Now is the perfect time to differentiate yourself from your competition and start building out a solution to take online appointment bookings.
#10 – Mobility: Allows You to Access and Manage Patient Information From Anywhere
Being able to access critical information at will is a powerful thing. This is only made possible when your patient information is secured stored within the online appointment system.
Since its securely stored on the cloud, all you need is a device that connects to the internet and away you go.
When all your information is stored on a computer on premises, you’re restricted to accessing that information when you or your staff are in the clinic.
If, for example, the first patient of the day needs to reschedule their appointment, you or your staff would only find this out as soon as you entered the clinic, loaded up the computer and ran your current booking software.
The advantages of having an online booking system far outweigh the disadvantages, and over time, your patients will adjust to using a new (and better) way to book and check their scheduled appointments. To learn more about online booking or to discuss your digital marketing strategy, contact practiceedge.