No patient likes to arrive at the office or clinic and have to wait for a late appointment or find out that their appointment has been made on the wrong date. But the disorganization of the appointment schedule can cause these discomforts and generate dissatisfaction in the patients of your clinic.
Optimizing the scheduling of appointments at the clinic using health roster online improves the professional routine of doctors, reduces the overload of professionals, increases the confidence of patients in the clinic and, consequently, decreases the dropout rate.
So we’ve listed some tips on how to optimize appointment scheduling. Follow!
1. Online agenda
Using a virtual agenda is the first step towards optimizing the appointment schedule in the clinic. It allows better organization of schedules and facilitates the search for vacancies for an appointment.
Also, the online diary can be accessed by the patient at home, and he makes his own appointment. The doctor can have access to it from any mobile device or computer so that he can organize himself concerning the schedules of other places where he works and also prepare in advance so as not to be caught by surprise during consultations.
The best thing is that there are online agendas that are super easy to move. So, receptionists and doctors, don’t be afraid, it’s time to throw away paper diaries!
2. Digital waiting list
A facility offered by clinic management software is the digital waiting list. The list includes those patients who need care, but have not found a vacant time in the doctor’s schedule and are waiting for any absence or cancellation to be treated.
The advantages of the digital waiting list over the current paper list are that:
- there is no risk of losing the paper with the list, which means less chance of not attending a patient who needs it;
- allows quick access to other patient information that may be required to put him on the agenda (health insurance, last consultation) and
- allows you to transfer it from the waiting list to the calendar quickly.
3. Confirmation of consultation
One problem that clinic health professionals always deal with is the lack of warning. The patient does not appear, and that time reserved for his care is not filled in time. To reduce this occurrence, many clinics call the patient the day before the appointment and confirm it. Despite being effective, the call takes more time from the secretaries and is expensive for the clinic at the end of the month. For this reason, better than calls, it is a system with automated sending of SMS messages, because that way the patient responds quickly if he can attend or not and the schedule is already updated automatically. Also, the operation is much more affordable and still frees the secretary to perform other activities.
4. Average service time
One of the primary reasons for delays in consultations at clinics is the inconsistency inpatient care times. Some stay in the office for a few minutes, while others spend about an hour. To solve this problem, the health professional must stipulate an average service time and thus organise their schedule according to this planning and maintain the flow of care in the clinic. To calculate this time, just use software with electronic medical records with the counting of consultation time. This way, you will have enough data to average.
5. Integration between clinic professionals
Clinics that have more than one professional in the same or different specialities can benefit from the inclusion of the online list of everyone who works there. This prevents that, among doctors in the same speciality, one professional is overwhelmed while the other has an empty schedule.
As you can see, the optimization of appointment scheduling in the clinic is closely linked to the use of technology as an ally, so it is worth investing in innovations.