Patient self-scheduling platforms have been a topic of high interest across healthcare organizations in the past several years. The thought behind being able to schedule an appointment with the click of a button is an attractive thought to patients and healthcare systems alike. There has been a fundamental shift in patient consumerism that is beginning to put the power into the patient’s hands to be able to shop around for goods or services of their liking. Healthcare organizations must stay on top of trends and implement appealing services to the patient.
Implementing a patient self-scheduling platform can help:
- level set staffing;
- Decrease idle time;
- Improve patient satisfaction and access to providers;
- increase patient accountability.
Although many healthcare systems claim to offer self-scheduling capabilities, only a few have successfully implemented a platform with self-scheduling capabilities fully integrated into an EHR. The Center for Connected Medicine performed a study where they identified that 78% percent of hospitals claim to have implemented self-scheduling, but less than one-third of actual booked appointments are scheduled through self-scheduling tools.
Challenges with Patient Self Scheduling
The study done by The Center for Connected Medicine identified barriers related to the implementation of self-scheduling. These include:
- Lack of Physician buy-in
- Lack of organizational buy-in
- Need for the development of the right tools or algorithms to handle self-scheduling
- Need to standardize templates and schedules
- Lack of patient adoption
Successes with Patient Self Scheduling
There are several companies that have developed successful direct-to-consumer scheduling platforms that have been successfully adopted across various organizations
Multiple healthcare organizations have implemented a centralized self-scheduling approach which addresses some of the barriers to collaborative care. Centralized scheduling uses a single scheduler or scheduling department to book appointments for various departments. The Medical News bulletin says that centralized scheduling can help coordinate treatment space, allow for quick and easy booking, help with standardization of appointments, create ease in maintaining staffing schedules, improve record keeping, and save time and energy by creating a one-stop-shop scheduling method.
Creating a platform to achieve true patient self-scheduling capabilities remains open for innovation. Many opportunities exist within scheduling that can achieve the coveted patient self-scheduling platform.
- One opportunity that exists is managing patient double bookings. Double booking appointments or procedures across an institution can lead to missed appointment times and causes inefficiencies. Having a system that detects and reminds patients about duplicate appointments can solve this issue.
- An AI-integrated patient triage platform is also an opportunity that can help patients schedule appointments based on their symptoms in real time. This can help bypass the need to see a provider to refer a patient to a specialist. AI or chatbots can help diagnose the patient and can decide which specialist he/she needs to see.
- Another opportunity exists with physician orders being linked to scheduling capabilities. If a patient sees a doctor and needs multiple appointments scheduled, having an integrated scheduling/EMR platform can help achieve this. Patients would then be able to self-schedule all of their appointments at once at any location of their choosing.
- Cross-institutional scheduling has also been a hot topic within healthcare institutions. Developing a system that can schedule an appointment across multiple systems can help ease appointment scheduling and increase patient satisfaction. We invite you to reach out to us today and discover the convenience and flexibility our self-scheduling solution brings to your fingertips.
At Clinovera, we understand the importance of empowering patients and streamlining their healthcare journey. We invite you to contact us today and discover self-scheduling opportunities tailored to your needs. Contact us for a consultation!