A firm grasp of the patient experience gives healthcare professionals (HCPs) a better chance at delivering patient-centered care. Moreover, listening and striving to improve patient experience opens the gateway towards increasing patient satisfaction. It is a goal for every medical practice to work towards offering an outstanding patient experience, and the first steps are implementing online appointment scheduling and electronic patient intake forms.
Patient experience is an integral aspect of quality care, alongside clinical efficiency and safety. HCPs across the United States work hard to provide an excellent patient experience. The various interactions patients have in the healthcare space influence their feelings about the experience. The interactions include the following:
- Seeking out primary care physicians or specialists
- Booking an appointment with a physician
- Receiving care
- Accessing medical information
- Communicating with HCPs
Medical practices aim to give patients a positive, accessible, and convenient experience during each interaction.
Allow us to elaborate on how online appointment scheduling and patient intake forms promote an outstanding patient experience when patients first interact with your practice.
First impressions last.
Offering online appointment scheduling and patient intake forms makes the patient’s first interactions with your practice positive experiences.
A patient's journey with an HCP begins when they seek out medical care and find their profile online. And when they decide to move on and schedule an appointment, they enter the first step in the realm of patient experience — it’s an opportunity for medical practices to give their patients an outstanding experience.
To give patients the best impression about your practice, at this stage, you must offer an experience where they can book or schedule an appointment with you online with ease and convenience, which is fast and secure.
Online appointment scheduling allows your patients to find a perfect time for them to see you based on your availability. Patients who find a practice online generally want on-demand healthcare because they prefer to control their schedule, wherever they happen to be, at their most convenient time. It makes their lives easier to not only find you online but also to book your services with the click of a button beside your profile that says "See your doctor now" or "Schedule an appointment now."
Most patients turn to the internet to search for symptoms and alternative treatments when they feel sick. When they realize they need to see a doctor, having an online presence helps them find you. And rather than looking for a phone number, they prefer or expect to see an option for booking online.
In a survey conducted in the United States in March 2021, nearly 70% of respondents said they prefer to book online when the option is available.
Online appointment scheduling satisfies patient-centered care at the onset of the patient experience. When patients first encounter your practice and find out that you offer an online scheduling option, you unlock the first step of an exceptional patient experience. You deliver on the convenience patients prefer and expect.
However, this good take-off could quickly go sour if the booking process is tedious and time-consuming. It is best to implement fast and convenient booking procedures.
Keep booking procedures fast and simple.
Time is precious, and delays are costly. Your patients' happy faces can turn into frowns because of a cumbersome and complicated booking process.
Practices that streamline online appointment scheduling have a better chance of maintaining a positive patient experience.
Fortunately, advancements in telecommunications technology enable patient-centric platforms to use the most straightforward implementation to streamline booking procedures, such as Curogram's integrated texting solution and online booking solution. With Curogram's 2-way text messaging and online booking, medical practices save time going back and forth with patients on the phone to schedule an appointment.
The online booking process is easy with Curogram. Patients don’t even have to consult clinic staff or physicians for an appointment schedule. Clinic staff, meanwhile, don't have to spend more time setting up patient appointments. When patients find and decide to book with your clinic, all your staff has to do is text them a link to their physician’s schedule. Patients simply need to open the link to view available appointment date and time slots and set an appointment on their own by choosing a schedule that perfectly matches theirs.
After they have chosen a schedule, the corresponding electronic health record (EHR) is updated automatically.
Patients can also easily reschedule or cancel an appointment on their own by choosing another vacant schedule and cancelling the original appointment.
Customized electronic patient intake forms further increase the patient experience with their convenience.
Use electronic patient intake forms.
Successfully satisfying patients with streamlined online appointment scheduling are one part of the first steps in providing an outstanding patient experience. The other is simplifying the arduous and time-consuming patient intake procedure.
The usual process is for patients to fill out a paper intake form when they check in at the office. The front office staff then enters their information into the electronic health record manually.
With the vast amount of intake forms to enter into the system, medical practices suffer from time-consuming practice. It also affects patients’ experiences. The following downsides exist:
- Patients have to be physically present at the clinic to complete and submit the form
- Patients who do not arrive early to complete the form can cause longer waits for appointments
- Patients filling out forms pack the waiting room and increase floor traffic in the office
- Paper forms take time to process and stack up in the front office
- Information in the paper form may need patients' clarification or verification due to illegible handwriting
Such a scenario is undesirable if a medical practice desires to maintain a positive patient experience and outstanding performance.
Fortunately, implementing an electronic patient intake form is a solution to this inefficient method. Curogram offers this convenience to practices and patients. The system allows you to send digital intake forms to your patients that they fill out and submit back electronically and securely from wherever they are. Patients don't have to complete and submit the form in person.
This experience offers added convenience for new patients who would use telemedicine visits where they can complete the paperwork prior to their appointment.
Curogram is HIPAA compliant, and any information sent and received is encrypted, end-to-end.
Convenience is key.
Creating an outstanding patient experience begins with online appointment scheduling and patient intake forms.
An outstanding patient experience with a medical practice starts by offering convenience to the patient. Aside from wanting to receive care, patients want to interact with a healthcare provider as simply as possible. That’s especially important at the onset of the journey when a negative impression could ruin the entire experience.
Convenient online appointment booking and easy-to-use electronic patient intake forms are a solution to save time and effort.
Telecommunications technology like Curogram has your back to help you achieve your goal of providing patients the best experience they deserve from the first contact they make with your office.