Scheduling patients is one of the most common tasks performed by healthcare practices. So, ensuring your patients are scheduled effectively is very important to maximize your practice revenue.
Patient scheduling in itself may seem like a simple process, but efficient patient scheduling is very significant and impactful to your patients’ delivery of care and your ability to keep wait times to a minimum so patient satisfaction stays high and practice profitability stays consistent. How EHR helps you to do it in the right way? Here are the 5 pro tips to schedule your patients with the help of EHR software.
1. Schedule your appointments smartly
Try your best to schedule morning appointments from noon backward and afternoon appointments from noon forward. Establishing this as the standard will help you maintain maximum productivity and ensure that the bulk of the day is scheduled out. If morning or afternoon slots don’t get filled, you can use those blocks of time much more efficiently by holding your staff meetings then, or cutting down on overhead costs by allowing staff members to come in later or go home earlier.
Empty slots throughout the day generally result in unproductive downtime, so implementing a scheduling a patient scheduling system or appointment scheduling software strategy such as this will help reduce wasted time.
2. Implement patient self-scheduling
Did you know that the average phone call to schedule an appointment takes over eight minutes? Multiply that by the number of appointments scheduled each day and your practice may be spending hours on appointment scheduling each day. Some practices field all appointment scheduling calls to a designated person who may typically be a relatively low-paid employee.
Or if you are a smaller practice, you may have only one staff member who handles pretty much all front office management tasks. With new advances in technology, this is now an area where you may be able to cut back on the unnecessary expense of an “appointment scheduler” and recoup a significant amount of time that could be spent on much more significant tasks. Studies show that the majority of patients prefer to schedule their appointments online.
Even better, 26 percent of appointments scheduled online are for the same day or the next day, filling up empty spots on your schedule. Practices now can offer real-time patient scheduling anytime and from anywhere with Internet access. Online scheduling is new to healthcare and offers greater convenience for both practice and provider.
3. Prioritize appointments makes your simple
Patient visits vary in degree of time requirement and level of care needed. Consider these factors as you decide where and when to schedule your patients or whether you even need to put them on the schedule at all. Many patient issues can be resolved with a brief phone call or email. Have the staff member who fields incoming calls use their best judgment to evaluate each call to determine whether to schedule the patient or have your nurse or doctor address the issue via a phone consultation.
This approach ensures patients needing the highest level of care have better access to same-day appointments if necessary and practice profitability is maximized by treating patients with more complicated or significant medical concerns.
4. Confirm appointments with text and email appointment reminders
Utilizing an appointment reminder software system will improve upon the number of on-time arrivals and kept appointments. No-shows are costly and inconvenient especially when you are a particularly busy practice and have a good size waitlist. Both providers and patients miss out when a no-show occurs.
5. Create a patient waiting list
Last-minute cancellations may be frustrating; however, with a patient waiting list, you are armed and ready when this unfortunate event occurs. Try using a patient scheduling platform that includes the ability to keep a list handy and ready to be notified. Being able to send out a mass notification of your immediate open slot is a huge time saver and revenue maintainer.
Instead of grabbing the phone when you get that dreaded appointment cancellation, quickly access your stored digital patient waitlist and send out a quick message encouraging your patients to call you rather than the other way around which results in a waste of precious time that could rather be spent on more productive activities such as getting to know your patients better or increasing billing collections.
Implement these 5 effective strategies while scheduling your patients with EHR software. If you are in search of the best partner to implement EHR software for your healthcare practice, CapMinds is here to help. Want to get a quote? Contact us to get an estimated cost of EHR software for your practice.