Needless to say, the quality of the healthcare services is one of the main characteristics of a hospital or any other healthcare unit that is critical for the patients.
According to the recent report by Accenture, patient care delivery has the highest influence on their further interaction with the healthcare units, so if the patients had some difficulties with the health providers, they can greatly impact the ranking of health system reputation.
However, in this area, over 35% of all healthcare consumers consider patient scheduling to be the anchor point of any health system.
This feature is usually missing in most health systems, but in fact, has the highest potential for improving healthcare services.
So, by focusing on the patient scheduling software, both sides get benefits: the healthcare units can increase the number of their clients, while clients receive better service quality.
Why? Let’s get it covered right now!
What Is Patient Scheduling Software?
Patient scheduling is the system, which allows enhancing the healthcare unit performance and getting as many patients as possible, thus increasing the service revenue.
But still, it’s important to provide professional services and improve customer service to generate more loyal clients.
And, it goes without saying, that now the digital technologies are the must-have for launching the hospital patient scheduling software.
Deloitte's insights have clearly illustrated the patient journey using free patient scheduling software, which combines diagnosis prescription, effective treatment planning, and brilliant services provided by the healthcare unit.
Additionally, the pandemic crisis has also stimulated different services to implement various channels, tools, and techniques, for creating and improving hospital patient scheduling software and adapting its features to the present times.
These include utilizing virtual care, robotic surgery, AI, biosensors, and even drones to deliver prescriptions. With having these innovative technologies in use, the medical patient scheduling software can greatly enhance the entire healthcare unit workflow.
The Importance of Patient Scheduling Software
After we’ve discovered the definition of the patient scheduling software, it’s time to find out the main benefits the healthcare institutions and their clients can get from its implementation.
Optimizing Administrative Workflow
The process automation of patients’ scheduling can greatly help to optimize the healthcare unit’s operations and improve the visits’ planning.
So, both sides win: patients can plan their visits at the most convenient time, whereas doctors can clearly see the time, resources, and amount of work planned on a certain day.
Reduce the Number of Empty Slots
The appointment scheduling can be pretty useful for the working staff to manage their time more effectively. For instance, most morning appointments are scheduled till noon, and then appointments are usually planned after mid-afternoon.
By dividing the working time into the so-called ‘blocks’, it becomes clear for the workers to complete the other tasks with the documentation, team meetings, and lunchtime.
Reminding About the Scheduled Visits
Sometimes the patients can miss the visit because of their personal reasons, change of plans or they simply blanked the visiting time.
As a result, the doctors can’t schedule any other patients at that time and the health institutions lose the revenue they were expected to get.
With the patient scheduling software, it becomes easier to remind or change the time of the visit without directly contacting the reception desk, which is more convenient for both the patients and doctors.
Creating a Patient Waiting List for Filing Late Cancellations or No-Shows
Nevertheless, it’s impossible to avoid the late cancellations and no-shows, but it’s still possible to minimize their negative influence on the healthcare unit with the system that can easily find another patient who needs an unplanned visit.
So, when one patient cancels the visit, the patient appointment scheduling software will notify the patients from the waiting list to offer them free time for the visit.
This will not only simplify the scheduling procedure but also benefit the patient experience, which is critical for the healthcare providers as well.
All these benefits of the medical patient scheduling software can greatly help the healthcare service development and improvement.
For the healthcare unit, that means optimizing the healthcare institution’s workflow, improving the task management and completion, increasing the quality of the service, and drive bigger revenue.
And, for the patients, this leads to the treatment plan improvement and the facilitated communication with their doctors and other hospital employees.
Features & Requirements of Patient Scheduling Software
For sure, various types of healthcare units need different features and requirements for their hospital patient scheduling software.
However, the Deloitte 2020 report has covered the basic insights of the patient scheduling software features, which is definitely a must for a healthcare system.
Personal Health Information Privatizing and Encryption
The first thing to consider while choosing or launching a new patient scheduling system is its safety.
Needless to mention, personal health information, or simply PHI is now considered important personal data and is widely used for manipulations and fraudulent activities by scammers.
To ensure data safety, the patient scheduling software should include data encryption and safe data management for patients to control access to their PHI.
Personalized Care Plans
To be aware of their regular visits to the hospitals, the PwC Patient Digital Care Solution offers to implement personalized patient care plans which allow to track different health data and set up reminders when the next visit should be planned.
Thus, the patients will be able to track their visits, and the doctors will have constant access to the history of treatment to choose the best treatment strategy.
Patient Waiting Lists
Another great feature that is usually included in the free patient scheduling software is the patient waiting list.
With that function, the software can bring benefits to both the patients and the hospitals: patients can see the doctor as soon as there is spare time in the doctor’s schedule, even if they haven’t made an appointment in advance; hospitals can get their revenue from the patients if the visits were canceled, rescheduled or the patient didn’t come.
Furthermore, it also allows to organize the time more effectively and get more tasks done in a short period of time.
Wearable and Mobile Devices Integration
To make the communication even more convenient and encourage more patients to use the open-source patient scheduling software, it’s also important to adapt the software for different devices: laptops, smartphones and watches, fitness bracelets, etc.
This will not only help the hospital units to remind about the visit planned, or inform about some critical changes in it but also track the important health indicators and adapt the treatment plan accordingly.
In 2018, the wearable tech market was worth nearly $23B and is likely to grow to $54B by 2023, according to the global forecast.
Thus, including the medical patient scheduling software into different health devices has really great perspectives for the healthcare system development and improvement.
Patient Self-Scheduling Function
Finally, the patient appointment scheduling software should include the self-scheduling feature so the patients no longer need to contact a reception center of a medical institution to make an appointment for a certain time.
Unlike the traditional way of visit planning, creating the application where the patients can plan their visits to a specialist based on the time available there.
The entire appointment booking procedure should be completed in less than 5 minutes with similar patient self-scheduling software.
Besides, doctors can also plan ahead their working day, and examine more patients during a day.
And, in addition to the increased revenue, the healthcare institutions will get detailed statistics about the total number of visits, which is important for the development strategy to improve.
Just like we said, the hospital patient scheduling software is not only about improving the patient experience.
The statistics got from the number of visits per day, week, and month, the general patients’ data and diseases can also help the medical unit to analyze the public health and create a list of recommendations for their patients to improve their health.
For individual visitors, the patient scheduling software can keep all the important PHI records in one place, so the doctor can study the health records more thoroughly and prescribe an effective treatment plan.
Thus, the health services quality will certainly benefit from the medical patient software implementation.
To sum up, the hospital patient scheduling software is an effective and profitable method of improving the healthcare services in the medical industry.
By implementing the patient scheduling software, it becomes much easier for the patients to plan their visits in the most convenient and appropriate way, and their doctors can also plan ahead their workflow knowing the number of patient visits they will have in a day.
For the healthcare unit, the patient scheduling software can greatly reduce the number of empty slots, so they will get more revenue from the visits.
Thus, healthcare IT solutions and software services become a must for the healthcare system’s better performance.
The team of top-notch software developers, designers, and product managers at Intellectsoft have extensive experience developing innovative software for the healthcare industry.
So feel free to talk to our experts if you want to develop a high-quality patient scheduling software that meets your business goals.