Online scheduling software allows patients to book appointments with only a few simple clicks from a computer or mobile device, and it’s a critical part of a modern healthcare practice. It’s one of the most effective and simplest solutions used by forward-thinking medical practices and healthcare organizations.

The average patient no-show rate is around 20% nationally. Online scheduling is one of the best ways to reduce no-shows, increase staff efficiency, improve patient satisfaction, and reduce scheduling errors. Here’s how patient scheduling can save valuable time, fill your calendar, and result in healthier patients.

1. Creates Patient Loyalty

Many patients believe that the ability to self-schedule their appointments is a priority. Accenture notes that 77% of patients feel that self-scheduling electronically is important. 89% of chronically ill patients think it is crucial. Allowing patients to schedule appointments conveniently and quickly helps you attract and keep them loyal.

2. Accomplish More Important Tasks

Online appointment scheduling offers many benefits for your office staff and patients. For example, you can eliminate many time-consuming phone calls with an effective online appointment scheduling system. When your team doesn’t have to spend hours calling patients to schedule appointments every day, their time is freed up to focus on more critical tasks. Consequently, you have a more energetic and efficient staff, which improves your overall service process.

3. Increases Your Revenue

Patient no-shows cost practices an average of $6,000 per provider per month. However, when patients can schedule appointments at times that fit into their busy schedules, they’re more likely to show up. As a result, your providers have few unpaid gaps in their schedules.

4. Preferred By Patients

A recent report found that 42% of the surveyed patients said they would have preferred to schedule their appointments online but didn’t have the opportunity. Only 17% of these patients confirmed that they have access to the option of scheduling their appointment online.

5. Attracts Prospective Patients

These days, people avoid phone calls only when necessary, especially if they know it’s an automated call. They know they’re going to waste their time navigating a frustrating phone tree and only spend even more time on hold waiting to talk to the right person. Offering online scheduling can draw new patients to your practice as they can quickly and easily book an appointment at their convenience.

6. It Fills Calendar Slots

Using online scheduling makes medical practices much more likely to fill empty slots on their calendar. If your online calendar shows real-time availability, patients looking for a same-day appointment will likely take the first available appointment.

7. Always Accessible

Before online scheduling, patients could only book appointments during a medical practice’s opening hours. Yet, with online scheduling, they can now log in to the practice’s website 24/7. Patients can check a doctor’s availability and make an appointment at a time that fits them and allows them to plan their schedules more efficiently around their visit.

8. Reduces Patient No-Shows and Cancellations

Online scheduling helps reduce patient no-shows, boost satisfaction, and build patient loyalty because when patients see that you value their time, they’re more likely to value yours. Online scheduling also gives patients the freedom of decision-making — boosting their engagement and improving the likelihood that they’ll notify your practice if they need to reschedule or cancel. It also can help fill last-minute cancellations and prevent lost revenue from non-billable hours on the schedule.

9. Improves Patient Experience

According to a study by Accenture, nearly 80% of patients said that the ability to book, change or cancel appointments online is important. Usually, it takes patients more than eight minutes to book a medical appointment on a call, including time spent on hold or transferred.

Waiting on a call can be frustrating for patients, but scheduling an appointment online offers them a faster option. It also gives them real-time access to Same-day and Next-day appointments. This benefits patient loyalty and retention, which translates to more business.

10. Reduction In Administrative Work

Your front office may find it challenging to provide quality service to patients if they attempt to simultaneously accomplish billing, answering phone calls, and administrative tasks. This leads to long hold times and even abrupt customer service, resulting in unsatisfied patients. With online scheduling, staff can spend their time providing a positive experience for patients who are physically present in the clinic, and freeing up time to complete more complex administrative tasks.

Integrate Seamless Online Scheduling into Your System with Curogram

Curogram offers a HIPAA-compliant online appointment scheduling system, which helps practices implement technology to devote more time to providing quality patient care. Nowadays, online medical appointment scheduling software is pivotal for a profitable and patient-friendly practice. The benefits of such a solution are obvious and enormous. While the clinical providers and office staff can focus on other tasks that matter, patient experience will increase when provided with excellent service and great quality of care.

10 Reasons Why Healthcare Practices Should Offer Online Scheduling