Time is money in all essentially all industries, but that’s especially true in the medical field, where empty appointment slots and patient no-shows cost clinics enormous amounts of money every year. As a result, tight scheduling is a top priority for most clinic administrators and office managers, and many are turning to some scheduling software to help them perform the task. But not all scheduling software is created equal, and the tools available on the market range from simple calendars to full-featured customer resource management platforms and everything in between. Below we’ll examine some of the most important features that clinics should look for when selecting which patient scheduling software to go with.В
Requirement: Advanced Calendar Integrations
A top patient scheduling platform needs to offer seamless calendar integrations with advanced functionality to ensure that calendar management is not only easy but also decluttered and completely secure. At a minimum, a scheduling platform should allow the integration of Google and Outlook scheduling so that existing calendars can be easily integrated into the new software without the need to completely rebuild existing schedules. Advanced features to look for include the ability to tie individual doctors’ calendars with a master office calendar, and the ability for those individual calendars to be edited securely, with only the associated doctor or a staff member they’ve assigned, like an office administrator, having access to editing functions.В
Requirement: Unconventional Modern Scheduling Tools
Calendar integrations are obviously the most important factor in streamlined scheduling, but there are some additional tools that can be used to aid in scheduling for clinics willing to think outside the box. One such tool is SMS messaging – the preferred method of communications for an entire generation of patients. Advanced scheduling platforms use two-way text messaging to enable patients to take personal responsibility and control over their scheduling by providing them with an easy means to send in confirmations, cancellations, and rescheduling requests right from their mobile phones. SMS messaging also enables more effective patient reminders thanks to the medium’s extremely high engagement and read rates.В
Requirement: Follow-Up and Reminder Automation
A huge part of successful scheduling is ensuring that patients actually show up on time for their appointments, and any worthwhile schedule platform will offer follow-up and reminder automation tools to help with that task. Automation not only reduces the workload on administrative staff, but it also ensures that patients get their reminders in the appropriate intervals to help ensure the elimination of no-shows. Well-designed schedule software allows reminder and follow-up automation to be applied in a number of ways, including via email, SMS messages, and pre-scheduled phone calls or voicemail messages.В В
MedicalCRM, the healthcare industry’s leading customer resource management platform, includes a full schedule suite that integrates fully with all other areas of the CRM, from patient management to billing, and beyond. For more information on how MedicalCRM’s advanced schedule tools can help your clinic improve the effectiveness of your schedule and minimize costly no-shows, schedule a guided demonstration of the software or start your free trial today.