Learn some gradual changes you can make, that can still significantly impact time management and reduce patient frustration
TIMIFY is an appointment scheduling and resource management software for teams and enterprises
We have all experienced it, we all hate it, and we have all complained. Waiting for an appointment with your doctor, in a crowded waiting room, often for longer than expected is no fun for anyone. Especially if you then have to queue again to book a follow up appointment.
It’s one of the major sources of patient complaints and one of the major issues practices are desperate to resolve.
In fact, a 2019 report on healthcare consumers shows that 77% of patient comments about waiting times are negative and 20% would change providers if made to wait too long.
Time management and patient experience must improve, but where to start?
Inevitably, there will always be patients who run late or require immediate attention. While this can’t be controlled, you can implement changes to help you get your schedule back on track as easily as possible.
Many practices have already implemented different digital solutions to improve time management, but some are still wary of changing the status quo. However, there are many facets to the digital solutions available, meaning you needn’t completely reinvent your processes in one go. You can make gradual changes that can still significantly impact time management and reduce patient frustration.
Below we list some steps to help get you started.
In order to start configuring your booking schedule according to the needs of your practice, you need to understand how your patients book and use your services. What are the most popular appointments? Which are most commonly booked online, by phone or as drop-ins? Which are the busiest times in the waiting rooms, on the phones and online? Do certain services or specialists need more scheduled time for each appointment than others?
Create a spreadsheet or whatever tracking document works for you and your team and start documenting how your practice works. Make sure your whole team is involved in documenting the information.
Include information to define like:
This information will start to give a clearer indication of how to improve the scheduling of your resources. Decide if you will only take phone or online bookings on certain days. Decide if certain appointments should have a mandatory ‘buffer time’ before or after the patient’s time with the doctor. Discuss improvements to the schedule with your team and implement them.
Move to an online shared calendar
Offer your patients the possibility to book their appointments online
Send appointment reminders to minimise missed appointments
Try to keep to your schedule
These tips are intended to help you analyse the challenges within your practice and start planning how to tackle them with digital technologies. Patients are increasingly expecting more flexibility, convenience and reliability in the services they use, and medical services are no different. Like any modern industry, standing still and ignoring technological evolution could result in getting left behind.
TIMIFY offers an integral solution for practices regardless of the size or focus. Contact us via our website to get more information about how our online scheduling solution will help you optimise your time management and patient experience.
TIMIFY is a global leader in scheduling and resource management software-as-a-service (Saas). It is known for its sophisticated, secure, and customisable enterprise-focused technology.