Medical Office Appointment Scheduling Software Offers Numerous Benefits
Visiting a doctor isn’t supposed to be fun. People make appointments at medical offices to receive help or a check-up, they don’t expect to have the best time. However, many people who seek doctor appointments, medical office visits, or clinic walk-ins find the patient journey incredibly lacking. Many patients struggle to receive the quality of customer experience that they are hoping for. Offices need medical appointment scheduling software that simplifies processes and enhances the patient experience.
This is an industry-wide problem. The National Library of Medicine found that 61% of people surveyed waited between 1.5-3 hours at a clinic. 36% of those patients spent only five minutes with the doctor they came to see.
Patients spend a significant amount of their experience in medical offices waiting for appointments. This leads to poor patient satisfaction with the industry overall.
According to Invoca, 81% of consumers are unsatisfied with their healthcare experience. The industry has gained a reputation as one that isn’t overly invested in providing a seamless patient journey. This damages patient perceptions of the healthcare industry as a whole.
Waiting for hours with no set time to see the doctor can be extremely frustrating for a sick or injured patient. Many healthcare providers have a serious communication gap between staff and patients. This makes their customer service suffer dramatically.
This doesn’t have to be the case. There are modern solutions to these difficult problems. Healthcare appointment scheduling software and a virtual queue management system can completely transform the patient journey. Software like Qless dramatically changes patient appointment scheduling and the waiting room process.
Let’s explore why healthcare providers have difficulties with patient experience, and how Qless’ medical appointment scheduling software can help.
Current Problems with the Patient Journey
Wait times are endemic in the medical industry. Visiting a walk-in clinic or emergency room usually involves waiting. Most of these waits for medical appointments aren’t going to be short, either. You will likely spend a long time in a waiting room waiting to be called by a doctor or nurse.
According to The Washington Post, the average wait time in an Emergency Room in the United States is over 40 minutes.
Over 16% of all ER visits will involve waiting over an hour. At doctor’s offices, this wait time is less significant. According to Etactics, the average wait time for a scheduled doctor’s appointment is over 18 minutes. This is not a minor amount of time, especially considering you’ve already scheduled that appointment.
Many offices and service providers fall far below patient expectations in this area. A healthcare provider is a business, and customer satisfaction is important in every business. Equally damaging is the complete lack of communication that patients will often deal with, something that can be solved with a medical appointment scheduling software.
There typically aren’t many communication options available to waiting patients hoping to find out more about their wait time. They simply have to sit there and wait for their name. David Maister’s study at Columbia University found that people perceive unknown wait times as longer than known, limited wait times. People sitting in waiting rooms often have zero concept of when their name will be called, which can be incredibly frustrating.
There are a lot of flaws in the patient journey in healthcare, but much of it can be fixed. Opening communication channels and transforming the waiting experience can dramatically improve the experience care providers offer their customers.
Why the Patient Experience Matters
Healthcare providers aim to provide the best care to their patients, but the medical industry is also a business. If you don’t provide the service your customers want, other providers will be eager to take them. It is a competitive industry, and patient retention is pivotal for long-term viability.
Providing your patients with the best possible customer interactions is the best way you will be able to retain them. Great customer care is the biggest priority, but the experience customers have in your office is also significant.
According to Silverline, 82% of patients said quality customer service is the most important factor they consider when choosing care.
People value their time, and they want to be treated in a warm and welcoming way. This is only natural. Too often, healthcare companies’ approach to communication does not live up to expectations. The consumer experience is defined by communication for many people.
The same Silverline report found that 62% of people said good communication and continuous engagement is the most important part of their customer service experience.
Patient satisfaction is important since there is plenty of options for people today. Patients will go elsewhere if their customer service needs are not met. Along the way, they might tell their friends and leave bad reviews.
The modern medical landscape gives consumers a lot of choices. A good customer experience ensures that you will continue to be their primary option.
Intro to Healthcare Appointment Scheduling Software
We’ve talked about problems long enough. Let’s start diving into some solutions. You should first focus on technology to create a successful patient journey strategy. A variety of software exists to make healthcare easier for workers and improve patient experiences.
One of these tools is appointment scheduling software for medical offices. For appointment-based industries, providing a seamless way for customers to schedule and organize appointments is important. Qless offers an appointment booking software that is easy on the customer and staff.
Did you know that roughly 27% of medical appointments in North America are missed, according to the National Library of Medicine?
This huge wasted opportunity for businesses leads to an estimated loss of $150 billion in revenue every year. While some of this is related to customers, some of the fault can be placed on poor appointment booking options.
Qless’ medical office appointment scheduling software offers a solution to help clear up this problem for medical offices. Qless has flexible appointment scheduling software for customers and simplified appointment management for staff. If appointments are missed, staff can quickly adjust on the fly by filling in new appointments or allowing walk-ins.
Communication is made simpler, so staff can notify customers before their appointments. This also helps them hear from patients in advance if they do not intend to show up. This makes it much easier to rearrange appointments ahead of time and adapt to changes quickly. Appointments can be organized based on staff, appointment type, and more.
This will create a much smoother process that benefits customers as well. Staff will have a more structured appointment process that keeps their operation running more efficiently.
How Medical Office Appointment Scheduling Software Improves The Patient Journey
From the patient’s standpoint, healthcare appointment scheduling software can supply a heavily improved overall interaction with a business. In today’s digital world, customer convenience is at a premium. Consumers want instant accessibility at any time of day. Many medical offices are not supplying this with their appointment scheduling.
Many medical offices have call-in appointment booking rather than using technology solutions that make them accessible around the clock. The typical medical office will have a patient base of people of all ages. Typically, younger and middle-aged customers will prefer a virtual solution that allows for easier patient appointment scheduling.
Qless is an appointment software that allows customers to book appointments at any time, no matter where they are. Call-in scheduling only works during working hours. With Qless, customers are able to browse available appointment times and select the one that works for them at any time. It is the height of convenience and dramatically impacts their appointment booking experience.
Beyond the ease of booking appointments, there is now room for more customization. Patients can book appointments with certain doctors, provide notes on their condition, and even complete necessary forms. This means that all customers have to do is show up.
Doctor’s offices typically offer a basic online portal, making it harder for customers to have a personalized appointment experience. With Qless, it is seamless, available around the clock, and easy to use.
Booking an appointment is the first part of the patient journey. This should be a seamless, simple experience that is accessible as possible. With Qless, this aspect of the customer experience is painless, fast, and customizable.
Intro to Queue Management Systems
Customers often find scheduling appointments by phone to be a hassle, but the main issue they face is long wait times. There is nothing that puts the average customer in a worse mood than an extended wait time. Not to mention the unknown time frame in a room full of people that are likely sick and potentially contagious. Whether it is a doctor’s appointment, an Emergency Room, or a clinic, wait times are a serious industry problem. This immensely contributes to negative customer perceptions.
Combatting wait times has been difficult in the past without the right technology. Now with Qless and other queue management software, the customer waiting experience is completely transformed. Qless is used everywhere, from walk-in clinics to hospitals, as a way to change how customers wait in line.
A healthcare appointment software allows for virtual waiting. Qless allows patients to virtually sign in to the waiting room and wait until their appointment. Patients can view wait times, fill in forms, and wait wherever they please.
The reduced need for in-person waiting will likely lead to increased patient volume. Waiting in a medical center is an exasperating experience, and if your business can remove that, customers will take note.
The Qless system helps manage your waiting room for you, easing the burden on staff. Waiting room management software tracks who is waiting in line, their appointment, and the forms they have completed. This allows staff to focus more on providing the best care possible to customers.
How Medical Office Appointment Scheduling Software Transforms Waiting Rooms
Overcrowded waiting rooms aren’t just exasperating for customers. They can be genuinely unsafe. Particularly when a highly transmittable airborne virus is still present, having a waiting room that removes congestion is critical. Removing long lines will make it a safer place for customers and staff. This also gives patients much more freedom throughout the appointment process.
With Qless, your patient can check into line, see the wait time, and wait from wherever they please. Reading a book in a café while drinking coffee is better than waiting in a busy waiting room.
Taking a different approach to queue management will make you stand out to your customers. Virtual waiting gives customers autonomy while allowing businesses to maintain the speed and intake capacity they need to be profitable. No waiting at a medical visit – customers can plan their trip by setting the time for their appointment. This level of customer convenience is now possible.
There are an array of ways customers can join virtual queues. They can send a text message, use a mobile app, join the website, or even use an onsite kiosk. Qless’ machine learning algorithm draws up a highly accurate portrait of wait times. This software gives customers the means to plan with precision around their appointment.
The waiting room experience is something most patients are deeply unhappy with. It is part of the nature of medical appointments that there will be waits, as they are unavoidable. However, with the Qless medical office appointment scheduling software, these waits can all be done virtually. This provides customers with more autonomy over their patient journey.
Better Analytics for a Streamlined Medical Center
Information is an asset in every business. Understanding as much as possible about your operation will allow you to improve areas of weakness surrounding your business. Keeping track of your waiting times and appointment lengths has been mostly impossible for businesses in the healthcare industry. With the Qless appointment management system and waitlist software, businesses can now receive highly-accurate, insightful business intelligence into key processes.
Business intelligence is highly beneficial to a business’ decision-making process.
According to Data Prot, businesses using business intelligence are five times more likely to reach faster decisions than those that do not.
Having accurate data that offers insights into your medical care services will allow you to nurture a better patient journey.
Qless provides comprehensive business intelligence to inform you about customer engagement and business workflows. You can view data such as median wait time, transaction time, no-show percentage, and forecasted wait time. The data is neatly displayed to be more easily understandable.
You can also sort the data according to different filters. For example, you could see your median wait time on Fridays or your median transaction time from 2 pm-5 pm. You can also organize according to employees. You can see how long appointments with certain employees are taking or which kinds of appointments have the most bottlenecks.
This type of data presents a clear and unbiased insight into how your business performs in several key areas. Information like this is invaluable in shaping the decision-making of your medical center. Analyze areas of weakness in your healthcare office and make changes accordingly.
If wait times are particularly dramatic on certain days or no-shows are increasing, make the necessary tweaks for your office. It will also improve the customer experience. Illuminating key areas where your office might be letting down patients will help you provide customers with a higher-quality experience.
Opening Lines of Communication
Something that is sorely lacking in the patient journey is strong communication. Patients come to their appointments, fill out forms, and wait an unknown amount of time.
Front desk staff typically aren’t certain when patients will be seated, and the wait stretches on. This immediately puts patients at odds with the medical office. Communication and transparency are vital parts of a good patient experience.
Qless opens up communication with bi-directional features that allow customers and staff to communicate back and forth. This is a simple tweak that can have a major impact. Patients want to feel heard, they want clarity on their waits, and they want to feel like staff is accessible. A more communicative process is a better one.
There are several different ways Qless’ communication features can be utilized. Patients can message staff if they are running late for their appointment or have had a material change in their condition. Qless’ wait time features show the forecasted time they’ll be in line with a high degree of accuracy.
For staff, these features go a long way. Employees can send out mass messages and filter who the recipients are. Staff can send updates to an entire line at once without copying and pasting a message. They can even update people with appointments scheduled on certain days. They can send reminders to patients, ask for information, and have them prepared for their appointment before they arrive.
More open communication benefits everyone. Medical centers will have fewer no-shows, receive higher-quality patient information, and have a more orderly pre-appointment process. Patients know when they will be seen and will have easier access to the healthcare providers. Qless medical office appointment scheduling software makes communication easy, which is important for providing a good customer experience.
Providing patients with a positive experience should be a core focus for medical offices of all kinds. From walk-in clinics and doctor’s offices to urgent care facilities, putting your customer first will always benefit you. The healthcare industry is not particularly known for offering a strong patient journey. Long wait times and a lack of transparency are the norms. This is the byproduct of an industry where change is constant.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case. With the Qless patient queue management system and medical office appointment scheduling software, providers can undergo a dramatic digital transformation.
These solutions provide a more seamless and transparent patient journey. Medical offices across the country are pivoting to this technological innovation that benefits both staff and patients.
Qless enhances the patient experience in several critical ways. The medical office appointment scheduling software drastically simplifies the appointment process. Patients can book appointments anytime from their phone, customize their appointment, and communicate key information to staff. With the queue management software, patients can wait in virtual queues rather than congested waiting rooms. They also have the ability to monitor the estimated wait time, and remotely check-in.
The business intelligence and communication features benefit all parties. With better communication, there is more transparency and clarity for customers and more information for staff. This reduces no-shows and in-office confusion. The business intelligence features provide high-quality information to staff so they can spot inefficiencies in their operation. Then they can take the necessary steps to improve them for a more seamless patient journey.
Medical providers face a tall task of providing great patient experiences. It is a difficult industry where customers are often under duress, and wait times are a natural part of the process. But with Qless’ medical office appointment scheduling software, providers can provide a drastically improved experience by removing the need for in-person waits. Qless eases appointment scheduling and simplifies communication, transforming the patient journey.
To see for yourself the value Qless provides, Schedule a Demo Today.