First, Some Facts
- 6% of online appointments are for same-day timeslots.
- 20% are for slots the next day.
- 26% of the time, online appointments were booked for same-day or next-day times
Take a look at these predictions from a report by Accenture for 2019:
- Online scheduling will be available from 66% of American health systems.
- Online scheduling for visits is used by 64% of patients.
- There will be autonomous scheduling for 986 million appointments.
Why schedule appointments online?Patients would rather use their devices than make phone calls.
It makes sense that medical practices would provide a way for a patient to get in touch with a clinician directly as the use of mobile devices grows.
Every age group and educational level increased their use of the internet in 2015, according to data from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA). Americans 45 to 64 years old climbed from 73 to 77 percent in usage between 2013 and 2015, while users aged 15 to 44 stayed stable at 84 percent. 65 and older Americans' use of the internet increased from 51% to 56%.
The degree of education among Americans is another indicator of increased use of the internet and electronics. 58% of those without a high school diploma utilized the internet in 2015. The rate for high school graduates was 67%. Internet use was 83 and 88 percent for Americans with some education or a college degree, respectively. Internet use will rise as connectivity becomes more reliable and devices become more affordable.
There is a definite need for healthcare providers to make accommodations for the increasing number of people who choose to schedule their time using their gadgets. After all, people can already schedule a hair appointment, get a taxi, and make dinner reservations with just a few clicks.
It would make sense for them to be able to move on to the physician's website to schedule since, according to Software Advice, 72% of Americans read internet reviews before choosing a medical provider. However, only 11% of medical appointments are currently made online, according to Accenture.Missed appointments result in lost money.
Practice Crown gives a precise view of the expense associated with canceled visits. The average patient visit costs primary care providers between $100 and $150. The loss is $1,000 per week if two of the ten available time slots are vacant every day. Revenue becomes unpredictable when combined with an average no-show rate of 23–34%, according to the American Journal of Medicine.
The price of hiring workers to manually make appointments is another consideration. If there are 100 appointments per day, then each call takes about 4 minutes. With 400 minutes equating to almost 7 hours, booking would take up a full-time position. According to Indeed, a medical administrative assistant has an average income of $34,000 per year, so the time could be better used on other duties.Millennials conduct all of their business online, including making medical appointments.
Reaching someone to make an appointment can take up to 8 minutes, with 30% of that time spent on waiting, in the patient's eyes. This can be a deal-breaker for the Millennial generation.
Millennials (those between the ages of 18 and 34 in 2016) have always had access to online data. They reject conventional health care practices, and 71 percent would rather make appointments online and get digital reminders than over the phone. Without providing the convenience of online appointment booking, they can be difficult to engage and keep.
The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that the country's 314 million citizens will number 400 million by 2051. One in five people in the country will be 65 or older by 2030, necessitating extra doctor's appointments for their unique medical needs. The number of persons seeking medical attention will increase as a result of these developments.
To accommodate requests for appointments, processes will need to be simplified. Integrating online appointment scheduling helps attract new clients while maintaining the satisfaction of current ones. In-office patient care and assistance can be provided with the use of staff resources.
Making use of technology to keep up with online trends is an important part of expanding your practice. The demand for ease and quick online scheduling of medical appointments is here to stay. In the end, both you and your patients will benefit from it.