14 Remarkable Ways Patient Self-Scheduling Can Benefit Your Healthcare Practice

Mia Jensen | January 11, 2024 | 10 min read
14 Remarkable Ways Patient Self-Scheduling Can Benefit Your Healthcare Practice | DemandHub

Balancing patient care, administrative task, scheduling appointments, and the constantly finding ways to increase your practice efficiency is a constent balancing act. As a practitioner, making any one of these tasks easier for you, your team, and your patience could transform your business.

The 2022 Software Advice Patient Experience Survey indicates that 31% of patients identified appointment scheduling as the biggest hassle in their last doctor’s visit. That means nearly one-third of your patients could see scheduling as a barrier to accessing your services. So, how you can solve this?

The answer lies in patient self-scheduling.

Research has shown 80% of patients are more likely to select a physician who provides online scheduling options.

In this article, we’ll explore how this advanced strategy boosts patient satisfaction and offers multiple benefits to your healthcare practice. With patient self-scheduling, you can bid farewell to the endless cycle of phone calls and embrace a more streamlined, patient-focused practice.

But before we delve deeper, let’s clarify: what exactly is patient self-scheduling, and why is it so important?

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What is patient self-scheduling?

Patient self-scheduling is a system that allows patients to book their own appointments online at their convenience. This system can be accessed through a secure patient portal on a healthcare provider’s website or through a dedicated app.

It provides patients with the flexibility. They can choose their preferred date and time for an appointment, without the need for back-and-forth phone calls or emails with the clinic’s staff.

Self scheduling sofware typically displays the available slots of the doctors, allowing patients to select the one that best fits their schedule. Some patient scheduling software also allow patients to choose the reason for their visit, further streamlining the process.

This approach is convenient for patients and also reduces the administrative burden on healthcare staff. It frees up your team for more important revenue-generating tasks.

14 Benefits of patient self-scheduling for your practice

88% of healthcare providers claim their EHR has stepped up patient care. As the healthcare industry keeps changing, practices always look for ways to improve efficiency and keep their patients satisfied. Recent years have seen a massive rise in patient self-scheduling tools.

A study found that self-scheduling led to many confirmed appointments, reducing staff scheduler time. Moreover, 29.5% of self-scheduling occurred outside of office hours. Thats the beauty of round-the-clock convenience.

This is why self-scheduling is a win for everyone. Patients can book, change, or even reschedule their appointments whenever they want, not just during office hours.

For the clinic, it means they can use their appointment slots in the best way possible. This leads to better use of time and resources. So, it’s not just about convenience, it’s also about being smart and efficient!

Need more convincing? Let’s dive into 14 amazing ways patient self-scheduling can supercharge your healthcare practice:

1. Self-scheduling increases practice efficiency

With patients scheduling their own appointments, medical staff can redirect their focus to other essential tasks rather than spending time managing appointments or maintaining patient waiting lists. This can lead to increased productivity and better patient care.

2. Get ready for round-the-clock bookings!

According to a study by Zippia, 40% of online appointments were scheduled after business hours.

Here’s the deal: your office hours often clash with your patients’ work hours, making it tough for them to prioritize their health. But with patient self-scheduling, they can pick their care whenever they want, no longer bound by your business hours.

DemandHub’s real-time patient scheduling feature is designed to amp up patient conversion. Visitors can check your availability in real-time and book appointments on the go using any device.

Get ready for round-the-clock bookings!

3. Improved patient satisfaction and retention

Patients appreciate the convenience of self-scheduling, which can lead to increased trust and loyalty. By allowing patients to schedule appointments at their convenience, practices can improve patient satisfaction and retention.

4. Say goodbye to patient no-shows

No-shows can be a real headache for healthcare providers, gnawing away at your schedule and potential earnings. But here’s the good news: patient self-scheduling tools often come with useful features that send notifications, alerts, or calendar reminders to your patients, keeping no-shows at bay.

Plus, when patients book appointments that suit their schedules (within the time slots you’ve offered), they’re more likely to turn up. It’s a win-win for everyone!

5. Increased revenue

By filling empty appointment slots, self-scheduling can increase revenue and help practices remain competitive. This can also help practices to manage their resources better and improve patient care.

6. Self-scheduling is time-saving and boosts patient satisfaction

Self-scheduling offers significant time savings. On average, phone appointments take eight minutes, with 63% of patient calls being transferred, leading to grumpy patients or even delayed care.

However, self-scheduling takes only two minutes, offering 24/7 access and a hard-to-beat experience. With online review sites and social media amplifying patients’ voices, patient satisfaction is more important than ever.

7. It saves you money and increases efficiency

Self-scheduled appointments require no staff intervention, while phone appointments take an average of four minutes of staff time. The time saved equals one full-time worker (1 FTE) for every 100 self-scheduled appointments, saving you money.

Just six self-scheduled appointments daily can break even on the cost of a self-scheduling solution, with each subsequent appointment saving $1.

8. Attract new patients with self-scheduling

Self-scheduling is one of the simplest ways to attract new patients. It is an opportunity to differentiate your practice and appeal to patient needs and expectations.

Self-scheduling allows patients to book appointments at their convenience, significantly attracting new patients. Happy patients will share their experiences, contributing to your practice’s growth and revenue.

9. Minimize lost revenue by auto-filling cancellations

Did you know your practice is missing out on $150 billion a year, all because of those pesky missed appointments? The average cost of a patient no-show to the physician is about $200. Time to turn the tide!

Last-minute cancellations can be a real bummer for your practice, as they’re super tricky to fill. Believe it or not, just 15% of canceled appointments get replaced, and a whopping 90% of physicians don’t even use a waitlist.

But waitlists are important as they offer a ready pool of patients for new appointment slots. Here’s where the magic of automated waitlists comes in - no staff effort needed!

Patients receive text notifications about open spots and can quickly claim one. It’s super speedy, way faster than manual phone calls, and makes your schedule super productive.

Minimize lost revenue by auto-filling cancellations

Attract more patients using DemandHub’s online booking system. It helps fill open slots in your calendar due to missed or canceled appointments. DemandHub sends automated text messages to your patients, who can easily reply if interested. The data syncs automatically with your practice management system and calendar, keeping everything up to date.

10. Improved data collection

A self-scheduling tool can collect patient data and feedback, enabling practices to improve patient outcomes and satisfaction. This can also help practices better understand their patient’s needs and preferences.

Patient self-scheduling can help you improve data collection in several ways:

  • Enhanced accuracy minimizes errors

When patients enter their information directly into the scheduling system, there’s less room for error compared to manual data entry by staff. This ensures the data is more accurate and up-to-date, vital for effective patient care and communication.

  • Streamlined updates for efficient data management

Self-scheduling platforms usually allow patients to update their personal information, such as contact details or insurance data, whenever they book or modify appointments. That means your records are always updated, leading to more efficient data management.

  • Digital integration reduces data discrepancies

Patient scheduling systems usually integrate with your Electronic Health Record (EHR) or practice management software. This seamless integration allows for real-time data exchange between systems, reducing the risk of data discrepancies and making it easier to track patient information across various platforms.

  • Richer data collection to understand your patient’s needs

Patient self-scheduling platforms can be customized to gather additional information during the booking process, such as patient preferences, reasons for the appointment, or medical history updates.

This helps your practice obtain a more comprehensive understanding of your patients’ needs and enables better-informed decision-making.

  • Enhanced patient engagement results in accurate data

Self-scheduling platforms are patient engagement tools. They allow patients to manage their appointments and encourage them to take a more active role in their healthcare.

This increased engagement can lead to patients providing more accurate and complete information, ultimately improving the quality of your practice’s data collection.

11. Better appointment management

With a self-scheduling tool, practices can manage their appointments more efficiently, reducing errors and minimizing wait times. This can lead to a more positive patient experience and improved patient outcomes.

12. Better calendar management

As a healthcare provider, your ultimate aim is to streamline daily tasks for smooth operations while keeping your calendar full. So you can concentrate on delivering top-notch care to your patients.

A powerful tool like DemandHub integrates seamlessly with your practice management system and EHR, ensuring your calendar remains updated as patients schedule appointments. It helps you plan your day more effectively.

Better calendar management

13. Enhanced practice reputation

Practices that offer self-scheduling are often seen as more modern, patient-centered, and professional than those that don’t. It can increase patient trust and loyalty, boost your practice’s reputation, and improve patient outcomes.

Accenture, a global management consulting and professional services firm, predicts that nearly two-thirds of patients will make appointments via self-scheduling, booking 986 million appointments worth $3.2 billion. It further emphasizes the importance of offering patients self-scheduling options.

14. More efficient staff utilization

With self-scheduling tools, practices can utilize their staff more efficiently, leading to better productivity and morale. This can also help practices to manage their resources better and improve patient care.

Give your patients the freedom to self-schedule with DemandHub!

Experience the benefits of patient self-scheduling by implementing DemandHub at your healthcare practice. Self-scheduling offers convenience, enhances patient satisfaction, and streamlines practice management, ultimately improving efficiency and resource allocation.

With DemandHub, you can empower your patients to schedule appointments based on availability, reducing no-shows and last-minute cancellations that result in revenue leaks.

By allowing patients to book visits directly from your website, you can keep your calendars full while focusing on providing quality care. This is your chance to revolutionize your practice with a patient-centric approach.

Are you ready to transform your practice with DemandHub? Schedule a demo today and explore how DemandHub can enhance your patient scheduling experience and improve your practice’s efficiency!

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