The Growth Channel

3 critical elements for successful online scheduling

An Intuit Health survey found that 81% of patients would schedule a doctor’s appointment online if they could, and 40% of patients would consider switching providers for online access.

Yet online scheduling platforms can be impersonal and confusing for patients, and physicians worry about losing control of their schedules. So how can provider organizations win over both patients and physicians?

We’ve uncovered three critical elements for a successful health care scheduling application.

Ensure patient-provider matching across the entire ambulatory network

Chances are that you have many care sites, and even more physicians. That’s great for access, but all these choices can be a bit overwhelming for the patient.

A health care scheduling application must include smart patient-provider matching capabilities to help patients easily search the most appropriate providers based on specialty, insurance, location, and other important variables. From there, seamless, one-click booking will keep them engaged through the appointment scheduling process.

Related: The Consumer-Oriented Ambulatory Network

Respect your physician’s needs with customizable appointment rules

Physicians worry that online systems will require them to conform their schedules to standardized templates, reducing their ability to limit certain appointment types, such as new patient visits, to specific days or times. To give them flexibility, choose a system that allows individual providers to set preferences for appointment type, duration, and type of patient.

Our health system members have found that these controls make physicians feel more comfortable trying the system, and once they see new, insured patients booking appointments online, they will often open their schedules further.

Funnel patients into your facilities by controlling the marketplace

If you let a third-party vendor host your online scheduling application on their own website, you risk losing patients to other health systems they work with. A Google survey found that 83% of patients visit hospital websites before selecting a provider. You will, of course, promote your online scheduling application prominently on your hospital web site for all these savvy patients.

You don’t want to use that valuable real estate promoting another company’s brand and, worse, sending patients away from your website to complete the appointment scheduling. Once the patient leaves your website, they may end-up scheduling with a competitor’s provider, and they may never come back.

HealthPost: A scheduling platform that meets all three criteria

HealthPost offers a patient- and provider-friendly online scheduling interface that spans the ambulatory network. Watch this video to learn more about the technology and visit the HealthPost homepage to connect with one of our experts.