How many times per week does your office receive appointment requests from patients? Although some physicians and hospital administrators may have an idea, most don’t know the answer to this question. Estimates range from 30 to 50 for small practices to more than 500 for large hospitals. Regardless of what the actual number is, it amounts to dozens of hours that employees are spending on the phone every month. In fact, scheduling an appointment over the phone can take anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes; and this is time your staff isn’t getting back.
What if there was a way to streamline the appointment setting process so that your staff could use their time more effectively?
The Appointment Request module within Bridge Patient Portal gives patients the ability to request or schedule their own appointments (depending on your organization’s preference) from anywhere, at any time. This is a core feature that hospitals and practices are increasingly finding that they cannot do without.
The process is simple. All the patient has to do is:
- Select the doctor (unless defaulted to an assigned physician).
- Select the date and time.
- Select the type of visit.
- Enter additional comments regarding the visit.
- Click the “submit request” button.
Bridge Patient Portal allows for two setup configurations which decide what happens next once the patient appointment request is received:
- Semi-automated. If you choose the semi-automated configuration, a designated person in your organization will receive notification of the appointment request once the patient submits it. Your staff member can then change the status from “pending” to “scheduled,” and a notification will be sent to the patient.
- Automated. If your organization chooses the automated configuration, appointment requests will be automatically scheduled once the patient clicks “submit request.”
Throughout the process, notifications will alert the patient, physician or staff about upcoming appointments, so that everyone is in the loop. You and your patients can choose to be notified through the patient portal only or via email and SMS text messages as well.
Bridge Patient Portal also provides the ability to interface with your EMR software’s Appointment Scheduling module or Practice Management software. This allows for seamless workflow so that staff and physicians can continue operating within the confines of the EMR without having to go into the patient portal as well.
Are you wondering how much time your healthcare organization could save by using an appointment request feature? There’s only one way to find out.