Healthcare professionals provide an incredible service across a range of areas. Chiropractors, psychiatrists, dentists, therapists, and addiction services, are just some areas covered by private practitioners. These professionals often train for years at a huge financial cost to themselves before becoming qualified in their chosen fields.
Regardless of the discipline, it has taken for them to practice, and the care they provide, they are still working in a commercial field. These types of clinics require patients, and they need to make an income just to run. In fact, they need to make a healthy income so that the clinic can improve and continue to provide excellent service.
One area that affects this is scheduling. In particular, patient no-shows. The amount of patients that visit a clinic directly impacts the revenue that is made.
How can you attract more patients to your clinic?
Regardless of what type of clinic is being run, whether it be a dental clinic or a chiropractor, some things work the same way. Any clinic today needs to have a meaningful online presence. This means being visible on Google My Business and having a private website.
It isn’t just good enough to be visible though. There should be up-to-date content, testimonials, a clear description of your services, and your licenses to practice. Engaging in social media is also essential these days to attract more people to a clinic. One area is paramount though. Standards must be very high, and there should be a continuous drive for improvement.
One problem area can be with scheduling. Using technology can help make appointment booking simpler and smoother for the patient. For instance, medical appointment scheduling software will lower the chances of no-shows and improve patient trust and loyalty.
What happens if you have no shows or appointments are scheduled badly?
When patients fail to show it has a direct impact on any clinic. Firstly, other patients could have taken that slot if a cancellation had been made. So, there is a carry-over effect for other patients. Next, there is the frustration felt by healthcare professionals from these no-shows, not to mention the health implications. If a patient doesn’t come, they simply cannot be treated and the problem could worsen.
Not least, there is the financial cost. A report by Forbes showed that around $150 billion is lost every year due to patient no-shows.
Benefits of appointment software
Having an online system that is accessible to patients, and works in real-time, allows a great deal of flexibility and convenience. It can also reduce no-shows greatly. A patient may make an appointment by phone and then realize that they cannot make it. Perhaps they then found it difficult to call and in the end, they just didn’t show.
If the booking system was online they could go in and cancel their appointment while simultaneously creating a new one to suit them better.
There are some efficient methods to manage healthcare personnel’s shifts through these types of systems and the same can be done for patients. Scheduling software helps to maximize appointment time and therefore improves patient care, and revenue for the clinic. More people will be helped if appointments are clearly scheduled.
These systems also allow payments to be made through the portal, and they will send out reminders. Automatic reminders are a great way to reduce no-shows. SMS and email reminders let patients know of upcoming appointments that they may simply have forgotten about.
Technology is being used creatively now to improve the patient’s experience
Never before have patients had such access to different aspects of their personal health care.
Patient portals are becoming increasingly widespread as a way to allow patients to monitor their appointments and condition. Although the cost of patient portal development may be high, the benefits are overwhelming.
Similarly, scheduling software gives more control to the patient today. As long as internet access is available, medical information, previous visit details, and future bookings can be made through these types of platforms.
It isn’t just the patients that benefit though. Contact details and personal information can be updated securely through these portals. This saves the patient having to fill out forms or take up the time of the receptionists at the clinic.
Getting more patients to walk through the doors of clinics may require a good digital marketing strategy. Nowadays, clinics cannot rely on the Yellow Pages or only word-0f-mouth.
Even a dental clinic needs to consider their online presence and how they engage with the local public through social media. Acquiring new patients is only part of the battle though. Retaining them, and being able to provide a service with continual improvement is essential too.
The NCBI reported on how anticipated revenue lost through no-shows can damage the quality of service that clinics can provide. This improvement can only be done by maximizing patient appointments and reducing no-shows. Failure to receive anticipated revenue could mean targets are not hit, and improvement plans shelved.