5 Tips for Scheduling Patient AppointmentsStarr Campbell
Is it easy for your patients to schedule an appointment with you? If you aren’t sure of the answer, it may be time to look into a more advanced scheduling tool. Booking an appointment is the first step to a long lasting patient-provider relationship. From the start, you want to provide a seamless experience that puts your patients at ease.
First, take a step back and think of your scheduler from a patient’s perspective. There may be gaps in your process that leave prospective clients frustrated or confused. Luckily, you can implement a few changes to make your scheduling process more efficient. Today, we’ll take a look at five helpful tips for booking patient appointments.
Offer online booking
A convenient way to book appointments can make a huge difference in how many patients you see during the week. More than ever, people are looking for a stress free way to schedule appointments online. Using TimeTap, you can create a booking page for patients to handle all of their scheduling needs.
You can customize your page’s appearance to match your company’s brand or website. You can even embed the scheduler into your own website. Have multiple doctors and locations that require scheduling? You can customize your scheduling process to create a scheduling flow that best suits your business. For example, if your company operates from multiple locations or has a telehealth option, it might be best to have patients select where they’d like to be seen before they choose an appointment time.
Manage your staff’s schedule
If you want clients to have a seamless booking experience, your employees must have their calendars and availability configured to the right settings. When the administrative side of scheduling isn’t in order it leads to miscommunication and frustration with patients, complicating the workload of your staff.
One of the ways TimeTap helps people oordinate staff schedules is by consolidating them into one place. Now, patients can book an appointment with the provider of their choice. Depending on how you set up your scheduling flow, your patients can choose a location first which will give them the available staff members for that location. Businesses with multiple services might ask their patients to choose the service or appointment type first, and then see what staff members are offering it.
Once all your staff are added to a designated booking page, you can let them enter their availability and monitor their own schedules. Giving your staff control over their own schedules may sound like the opposite of management, but you can still supervise from the administrator page.
The chances of remembering one-off days when a certain employee won’t be in the office isn’t likely for most business owners. Making notes or blocking the day out in your booking software both take extra effort. With our 2-way calendar sync feature, every staff member can link external calendars with their TimeTap schedule. The two schedules will sync back and forth – making it easier to manage multiple calendars. Plus, you’ll never need to worry about double booking again.
Offer advance check-in with online intake forms
Have you ever tried onboarding a client without a new patient questionnaire, checklist, or screening survey? It wastes valuable time having patients complete forms in the office and then manually entering the information into your database. Gathering the details of your clients' background before they come to their appointment is essential, and your scheduling tool should make it simple to receive, manage, and store this information.
With our customizable booking forms, give administrators the flexibility needed for collecting vital patient data. Adding or editing custom fields within the form to make sure your clients are being asked the right questions is simple, and you don’t have to limit yourself to one type of form. Organizations with several locations and service types can build and customize forms for each scenario.
You can add the option for attachments, allowing clients to upload documents like insurance cards or vaccination records. Additionally, if you need clients to sign a waiver or information release form, the custom form feature can be used to attach your document in a confirmation email.
Intake forms are equally important for staff and clients. While customizing forms for patient scheduling, you can include private fields for staff to enter notes or answer outstanding questions from previous appointments. As a lightweight CRM, TimeTap automatically saves this information to an individual client profile after an intake form is fully completed. Building a client database with your scheduling software is completely automated with our software - removing the pressure of meticulous recordkeeping from your staff. With our API tools, you can also sync our software to your in-house or third party CRM software.
Offer multiple services
Depending on your field of practice, you may offer a variety of services. In these cases, it’s helpful for clients to choose the type of service they are wanting, such as a physical, massage, vaccination or other appointment type. If you aren’t providing these field selections, you run the risk of missing out on clients that would have otherwise booked an appointment. This also leaves out important information that you need regarding the nature of the appointment.
Setting up your service and/or class offerings with TimeTap only takes a few minutes. After customizing your company’s self scheduling page and adding your staff’s calendars, head to the Services & Classes module. Here, you can type the name of the service and other vital details for appointment booking, like the length of appointment time and if it’ll be a recurring service.
The key to seamless appointment booking is removing the need for manual input. When adding services, TimeTap gives you the opportunity to enter all the information needed to automate scheduling. Add screening questions, time between appointments, and even a waitlist option to make sure your schedule stays full.
Automate appointment follow up communication
Nurturing the relationship between an organization and its patients takes communication and diligence. Patients that are on a plan for their health or have lingering issues that require follow up care tend to book future appointments before their initial visit is completed. Unfortunately, most times these appointments are booked several weeks out. Patients can easily forget or misremember their scheduled time.
Instead of cluttering your time with manually sending follow up emails, use our recall campaign feature. This is the best way to automate future communications with patients. Send a reminder for booking a follow up appointment, promote new services, or instructions on how and when to take medication.
There’s no limit to how many recall campaigns you can set up or the number of personalized messages you can send. Just like appointment confirmations, patients can receive recall campaign notifications in their email or through text.
TimeTap’s robust feature list offers patients the customization and control needed to have a personalized scheduling solution – without the costs of developing and maintaining it. Our software empowers your business by automating appointment scheduling tasks. Save time, money, and frustration when you use our software to schedule patient appointments. Book a demo and learn more today!