Tag Archives: online medical appointment scheduling

How Medical Patient Scheduling Software Can Benefit Healthcare Organizations

Medical Patient Scheduling Software

Medical Patient Scheduling SoftwareMedical patient scheduling software was once considered a luxury but is now a highly sought-after feature by many patients. Compared to traditional appointment scheduling methods, medical office scheduling software is more patient-centric and can actually improve health outcomes due to improved medical care access. Appointment scheduling software allows patients to book their own appointments independently, check availability, view/edit existing appointments, and receive reminders for their upcoming visits. A patient self-scheduling solution not only benefits patients; many healthcare organizations have also experienced general improvements, including a reduction in no-shows and decreased labor costs.

Fully customizable features

With medical patient scheduling software, healthcare organizations can build in their own rules and requirements when booking an appointment. A patient scheduler can consider variables such as appointment type, provider, or location. Healthcare organizations can limit and control the type of appointments that patients can select when self-scheduling. Different types of appointments can be configured according to the average duration. This accommodates for variable time slots, which helps prevent overbooking and double-booking.

In some circumstances, certain appointment types may be too sophisticated for a patient scheduler to complete. For companies wanting the functionality of a self-scheduler, but who still wish to control some or all aspects of more complicated appointments, a hybrid model can be implemented so that healthcare organizations can get the best of both worlds. Within hybrid models, patients can “request” an appointment instead of fully booking one; a staff member can then contact the patient to work through the rest of the appointment process.

Reduce no-shows

Patient no-shows can take a toll on any healthcare organization since those vacant appointment slots cannot be filled last-minute. No-shows most often result in a loss of revenue from non-billable hours. Clinical resources are often wasted when patients don’t honor their appointments, especially in today’s current climate, where practices must take extra precautions to ensure patient safety. Self-scheduling software allows patients to take more responsibility for their healthcare appointments. Patients can conveniently verify, cancel, and reschedule their appointments, allowing staff to better manage the practitioner’s schedule.

Medical patient scheduling software
Decrease staff labor

Depending on the medical practice’s size, there will be at least one staff member whose sole responsibility is to manage a practitioner’s schedule. Making appointments, rescheduling appointments, and sending patient appointment reminders are just a few tasks that prevent practice staff from engaging in more critical tasks. Self-scheduling reduces the number of people required to answer calls and manage appointments, resulting in an immediate ROI. Medical office scheduling software automates the appointment scheduling process by allowing patients to book at their own convenience without staff intervention. Patients can select their healthcare provider and preferred visit time from a list of available appointment slots without assistance. If a healthcare organization handles multiple specialties and varying providers, healthcare appointment scheduling software can also be semi-automated for complex appointments that require staff approval. Medical patient scheduling software significantly reduces the amount of time your staff members spend on the phone booking and managing appointments for patients.

Medical Patient Scheduling SoftwareBridge’s patient scheduling software can be fully integrated into the healthcare organization’s EMR, PM, RCM, and API. This results in data being pulled and presented from the organization’s internal systems with data then fed back in from the self-scheduler. This process simplifies internal workflows, reduces staff intervention, saves time and money.

Patient scheduling software also helps prevent human errors when scheduling appointments since It standardizes and automates the scheduling process.

More and more healthcare organizations realize the benefits of implementing a patient scheduler. Evidence suggests a growing trend for the adoption of web-based appointment systems in all industries, and healthcare is finally catching up. Patient appointment scheduling software is no longer a luxury as it has become a necessity for many patients.

Michael McGinley (Director of Strategic Accounts), is an accomplished sales & management executive experienced in HIT sales, data analytics, and publishing. He is certified in management information systems and has a BA in business, in addition to an MS in information systems with a concentration in healthcare. Mike possesses a true commitment to sales and customer service.

Research Finds Significant Patient Portal Benefits For Remote Patient Monitoring

It has been found that people who engage with healthcare providers through online patient portals benefit from improved health outcomes. Researchers at The University of Texas partnered with UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas to study the patient portal logs for 3,266 patients with congestive heart failure over 12 years.

 

Multiple benefits of patient portals for patients were discovered throughout the study. Patient health outcomes were improved in several ways after the continued use of a patient portal. Patients who effectively used a portal were 2-4% less likely to be hospitalized. Those who engaged with the portal were 3.2% less likely to visit the emergency room. The average length of stay after being hospitalized decreased by 11%. Readmission rates were about 2% lower among users of patient portals compared to those who did not make use of a patient portal.

During the study, researchers noted which portal features were most frequently used by the patients. Below we summarize how certain patient portal features result in reduced inpatient visits, 30-day readmission rate, ER visits, and the average length of stay.

Lab results and medical history

Lab results can be automatically uploaded to the patient portal from the EHR or lab. A patient can be notified by an alert when their test results are available. Access to lab results and medical history improves the accuracy of patient health information as providers can update the info as soon as anything changes. Access to these features allows for ease of access for providers to patient medication history, lab results, and health summary. These features provide accurate and comprehensive information for both patients and providers. This leads to many benefits of patient portals in healthcare as providers can gain valuable insight into the patient’s overall health. Providers are able to determine the level of adherence to a medical regimen and care plans in order to work with the patient to make improvements.

Secure messaging

A secure HIPAA-compliant messaging platform allows patients to communicate with health providers and vice versa. Patients get a notification when a new message is waiting for them. Providers can respond to incoming messages through the patient portal, or directly from their EHR using an interface. Secure messaging improves communication between patients and providers. This increase in communication improves care coordination and allows for shared decision making. Patients are able to provide their healthcare providers with updates regarding their health, which allows both parties to monitor disease progression.

Prescription refill request and appointment scheduling

Patient self-scheduling software allows patients to book appointments at their own convenience. Self-scheduling allows patients to select their doctor and preferred visit time from a list of available appointment slots. Appointment scheduling improves visit adherence and reduces no-show rates. Prescription refill requests allow the patient to order a refill of their medication through the patient portal. This feature within a patient portal benefits adherence to a medication regimen. Both features increase patient satisfaction and self-efficacy.

Healthcare organizations should consider increasing patient engagement through access to the patient portal in order to increase patient outcomes by decreasing inpatient visits, readmission rate, ER visits, and the average length of stay.

Community Manager at Bridge Patient Portal. Marrying her passion for healthcare with her experience in digital marketing.

Bridge’s HIPAA-Compliant Appointment Self-Scheduling Solution

Updated on August 6, 2020.

Get your patients actively involved in their healthcare experience with Bridge’s HIPAA-compliant appointment self-scheduling solution.

Bridge’s Patient Self-Scheduling Feature

Bridge offers a HIPAA-compliant appointment self-scheduling solution that can cut overhead, increase patient satisfaction, and decrease the number of phone calls coming into and out of your office. It can ensure proper screening while enabling patients to schedule their own appointments in a matter of minutes. This patient appointment scheduling software was built to comfortably handle complex scheduling decision trees that are adaptable to any provider/specialty group as well as the unique schedules of their providers, without any disruption in procedures or workflow.

Bridge integrates with your existing systems and procedures; it makes use of current data and settings and capitalizes on work that’s already been done. Bridge also works with you to provide Role-Based Access Control (RBAC), which regulates who has access to schedule appointments, the appointment slots to make available, and more.

The patient self-scheduling feature works without staff involvement but Bridge provides support whenever you need it. The solution is HIPAA-compliant and secure-in/secure-out, giving you the privacy you demand.

The Bridge Patient Portal gives patients more control over their healthcare experience, delivering self-service tools that patients have become accustomed to in other industries (e.g., travel, banking, retail, etc.). Access to the HIPAA-compliant scheduling feature is available via the secure patient portal or Bridge’s mobile app – available on iOS and Android.

HIPAA-Compliant Appointment Self-Scheduling Solution

Bridge’s patient self-scheduling feature allows patients to complete a full HIPAA compliant scheduling workflow and book appointments in real-time.

HIPAA-compliant appointment self-scheduling, security, and privacy

In addition to HIPAA-compliant self-scheduling, Bridge offers several essential HIPAA-compliant patient engagement tools such as HIPAA-compliant messaging, HIPAA-compliant appointment reminders, bill pay features, and a HIPAA patient portal app.

Patients can receive appointment reminders via email in order to help them manage their time.

In order to understand why HIPAA compliance is so important regarding all of these features, we must remember the importance of patient privacy. Healthcare providers in the U.S. must comply with HIPAA regulations, which were designed to provide privacy standards in order to protect patients’ medical records and other health information. These regulations extend to all types of healthcare technologies that doctors might use to store and manage patient information. Although there is no definitive HIPAA certification for any organization, IT companies can be HIPAA-compliant. This means that they adhere to HIPAA regulations and take the necessary steps to ensure their products effectively protect sensitive patient information.

Bridge has a long history in helping healthcare organizations meet and understand HIPAA guidelines. To learn more about HIPAA and healthcare applications, please feel free to look through the resources below:
HIPAA and Healthcare Applications, Part 1 of 3: What You Need to Know About User Authentication
HIPAA and Healthcare Applications, Part 2 of 3: What You Need to Know About Auditing
HIPAA and Healthcare Applications, Part 3 of 3: What You Need to Know About Data Transfer

Do you need additional information on HIPAA compliance? If so, feel free to contact a Bridge representative today.

Michael McGinley (Director of Strategic Accounts), is an accomplished sales & management executive experienced in HIT sales, data analytics, and publishing. He is certified in management information systems and has a BA in business, in addition to an MS in information systems with a concentration in healthcare. Mike possesses a true commitment to sales and customer service.

Report: Online Appointment Scheduling Poised for Major Growth

Providing patients with online appointment scheduling can deliver significant cost benefits and improve operational efficiencies for healthcare organizations. It also has the potential to improve customer satisfaction, as patients value tools that allow them to streamline different aspects of their daily lives. Despite this, few health organizations currently provide online scheduling – but this could changing and fast.

According to a report released by healthcare consulting firm Accenture, 66 percent of health systems will offer online doctor appointment scheduling by 2019, and it will be used by nearly 65 percent of patients. This is expected to save the healthcare industry about $3.2 billion annually.

The need to remain competitive in the highly volatile healthcare market is one reason that online scheduling is set to take off. Not only do patients want online scheduling, but the addition of this type of value-added service is enough to significantly differentiate a hospital or practice from its competitors.

Consider, for example, that scheduling a doctor’s appointment online takes about one minute versus eight minutes over the phone. Taking this into account, it makes sense that more than 63 percent of adults ages 18 to 24 prefer self-scheduling. Consumers already use online tools to perform all types of tasks more efficiently (e.g. online banking and purchases), and they want this same convenience when it comes to healthcare.

The Patient Portal’s Role in Online Scheduling

Online Appointment SchedulingApproximately 40 percent of the top 100 health systems in the U.S. currently offer some type of online doctor appointment scheduling. As organizations adopt better technologies that make self-scheduling easier, both for patients and staff, this number will continue to grow. Patient portals offer the tools necessary to simplify the scheduling process – however, not all portals provide the same advanced capabilities.

Bridge Patient Portal organizes providers’ appointments on a user-friendly platform that allows patients to select their doctor and preferred visit time from a list of available appointment slots. Providers can establish the types of appointments that patients are allowed to schedule, and they can even prompt patients to fill out Intake and Health Risk Assessment forms online to save time. Multiple setup configurations are available so that organizations can choose what happens once a patient appointment request is received.

Interested in implementing online appointment scheduling software? Contact us!

Business Development Manager at Bridge Patient Portal. Passionate about helping healthcare businesses grow.