Patient Scheduling EHR Software
Last updated: September 21, 2021
A patient scheduling software helps healthcare providers book/reschedule appointments with ease. Here we’ll talk about some of the features and benefits of implementing a patient scheduling software. This guide will help you understand the unique features of a patient scheduling software.
Here’s what we’ll be discussing in this buyer’s guide:
What is a Patient Scheduling Software?
Patient scheduling software helps physicians manage their appointments through multiple channels and locations. They also help patients make appointments at their desired time, location, type, physician, etc. without having to call up your practice.
It provides a number of automated features that help reduce overhead costs, save time, and minimize the chances of errors. For instance, if you’ve used manual appointment scheduling before, you’d know double-booking is a very common human error. One of the most popular features is automated reminders through text messages, email, and a patient portal.
Whether you’re considering purchasing a patient scheduling software for a small practice or a large hospital, they come in all shapes and sizes. They offer customization options, flexible operations, and scalable technologies. Most EMR/EHR vendors integrate patient scheduling software within their practice management module. However, you can also choose to implement a stand-alone version of the software in your practice for your ease.
Patient scheduling software are particularly helpful for large practices that have multiple practitioners working at multiple locations. Managing all those appointments for various locations is close to impossible if done manually. However, collaboration becomes easy with this software no matter complicated your clinical infrastructure might be.
Here, I’ll be going over the various features of a patient scheduling software along with the requirements of selecting your software vendor for your practice.
Before jumping to the software itself, you must assess the needs, requirements, and capabilities of your practice. After all, a patient scheduling software comes in all shapes and sizes. Some practices might require a patient scheduling software for large practices based on their size; while others might need small-scale ones.
Here’s all you need to know to make the most of your patient scheduling software.
Patient Scheduling Software Features
Here are some features of a patient scheduling software that help improve patient care, streamline your clinical workflows, and simplify administrative tasks.
Online Scheduling – You can set a schedule that allows patients to book appointments that fit your schedule. Any changes in appointments like staff changes, rescheduled/canceled appointments, etc. are updated automatically in your system.
Recurring Appointments – You can change an appointment’s status from single to recurring with ease. Some patients require frequent visits to your practice, so your patient scheduling software also offers to schedule recurring appointments at once.
Appointment Reminders – Nobody likes to be stood up. Especially practitioners that could’ve looked after other patients. You can reduce the number of no-shows in your practice by sending them automated reminders through text and email.
Patient Intake and Registration – You can also have patients upload all of their personal information, medical history, and billing information prior to their appointment to reduce patient waiting time and increase patient satisfaction.
HIPAA Compliance - A Patient Scheduling software also needs to ensure patient information confidentiality and privacy through compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) guidelines.
Choosing a Patient Scheduling Vendor
Now that we’ve discussed the necessary features of a patient scheduling software, let’s talk about some of the requirements you’d need from your software vendor. These may differ for each individual medical practice.
Vendor Size – What type of practices does your software vendor typically cater to? Some vendors only provide services to small-scale practices, while others cater to large-scale practices. Therefore, if you have a small practice, paying for services that help large practices, won’t do much good. Similarly, large practices won’t be able to function with services designed for small practices.
Design – The design of a patient scheduling software’ infrastructure depends on your choice. Whether you would prefer a cloud-based, web-based, or even standalone.
Web-based: These companies focus on a web-based approach and practitioners can access their patient information through their web browser.
App-based: App-based software provide all the service you need from a patient scheduling software through an installable app on your smartphone or tablet.
Cloud-based: Companies that provide native cloud software offer you access to patient information through a cloud-storage.
Certification – Vendor certification ensures patient information confidentiality and security and is perhaps one of the most important things to look for in a patient scheduling vendor. So make sure your vendor has ONC-authorized testing and certification body (ONC-ATCB) certification.
According to the top reviews, most patient scheduling software vendors focus on providing cloud-based healthcare IT services to enhance security and provide seamless services.
Patient Scheduling Software Benefits
An effective EHR software helps streamline your clinical workflows, simplify administrative tasks, and help reduce cost. Here are some of the most advantageous benefits of a patient scheduling software.
- Reduce administrative and overhead costs
- Minimize chances of error during data entry
- Reduce the number of no-shows and make the most out of each appointment
- Improve patient satisfaction and patient care