Not considering that telehealth use has increased 38x from the pre-COIVID-19 baseline, your patients are embracing everything digital. If you want your practice to continually provide competitive, effective care, moving to an online scheduling system makes sense now more than ever.
But, finding the perfect medical appointment scheduling software can be a challenge. There are an endless number of apps and programs floating around the internet and all of them promise to meet your wants and needs.
Unfortunately, few do. They either cost an arm and a leg, are difficult to use and integrate with your existing systems, or don’t scale with your practice.
So, where do you start when looking for a medical booking platform?
We always recommend that Book Like A Boss (BLAB) is your first stop. It provides a great user experience (UX), is easy to set up, protects your patients’ data, and provides many useful integrations. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.
To help you focus on what’s important for your practice and your patients, we have put together a list of key considerations.
Your Key Considerations For Selecting Medical Appointment Scheduling Software
When choosing scheduling software, there are several crucial factors beyond its price point and related costs. Ask yourself:
- Does it make sense for my business?
- Will it be easy for me to use?
- Oh, and will it actually add any value for us?
Your medical practice will certainly have its own specific needs, but the following ten points will help you quickly decide which platform will work best for your business.
1. Run The Numbers
How much will your new scheduling service set you back every month?
You want to get the best bang for your buck, we get that. Hidden fees and overpaying for features are no fun.
You’ll want to find a platform with transparent pricing. It should highlight every feature and function you're paying for with your hard-earned dollars.
For example, if you check out BLAB’s pricing page, you will see that it clearly lists exactly what our customers get with their subscriptions.
Secondly, consider your potential savings. Medical appointment scheduling software can save both time and money. The right platform will cut down on admin work and staffing costs while saving you time by kicking no-shows to the curb.
Thirdly, consider whether your software is going to increase your revenue. Using a platform allows you to set up parameters around appointment times. You can add buffers and block out time slots that patients have already booked. This ensures that you don’t double book clients and helps you maintain and organize your schedule. You can maximize your day and take as many or as few bookings as required.
2. Does It Increase Patient Satisfaction?
Medical appointment scheduling software should allow you to maximize every hour of your time and work effectively with patients. You can check when each person last had an appointment and access patient notes to make treatments run smoother.
You can also create waiting lists to fill in late cancellations and allow patients to reschedule appointments themselves. This way, you can keep your practice busy and add value for your patients.
3. Collect Payments At The Time Of Booking
Do you typically bill your patients before or after their appointments? Depending on your medical practice model, you might consider a platform that allows you to collect payments at the time of booking. This ensures that you are paid on time for your services and don’t have to wait to receive amounts due.
Many leading platforms, including BLAB, give you the ability to take payments immediately as patients schedule their appointments. The platforms also automatically update patient records and appointment information, allowing you to bill accurately and on time.
4. Is The Software HIPAA Compliant?
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) prohibits health practitioners from disclosing or sharing patients’ health information
This means that as a medical professional, you are obliged to protect patients’ information and privacy. As a result, it is essential to ensure that your medical appointment scheduling software is HIPAA compliant.
Luckily, Book Like A Boss has been 100% HIPAA compliant since its inception. You’re in good hands.
5. Will It Scale With Your Practice?
As you use your medical appointment scheduling software to take more bookings, you will increasingly prioritize a solution that scales with you.
You may only see thirty patients a week at the moment, but how do you project those figures into the future? Will your platform be able to expand with you as you hire more professionals to join your team? Will it be able to manage the data that comes with handling an increasing number of appointments?
Think about this carefully and choose a software platform that will be able to meet the needs of your business for years to come. BLAB grows with you by offering individual (solopreneur) and team (company) plans as you scale up from a team of one to one-hundred, or even a thousand!
6. Is It Easy To Get Set Up On The Platform?
Getting set up and learning the ropes of a new platform can be time-consuming. Before you have a booking-ready application, there are several steps to take. You need to create and design your booking page, embed your calendar, and connect your payment processor, to name a few.
That’s time better spent growing your business and tending to your patients.
The truth is, if it takes anything more than 17 minutes to set up a beautifully optimized page that sells your services, we recommend looking elsewhere (to BLAB, to be precise).
7. Are There Integrations To Boost Your Platform’s Functionality?
Technology has made itself a part of our everyday life and no doubt you have already started using various applications in your business. Instead of tearing up the playbook and starting again with new software, you should look for a solution that can integrate with different services and add value.
Linking various calendars and mail apps to your scheduling software is essential. It allows you to sync schedules and get instant notifications of appointment changes, but that’s just scratching the surface.
Book Like A Boss lets you integrate with over 15 apps and counting.
Integrations with Facebook Pixels and Google Analytics give you comprehensive data on your customers like:
- Which sites or links drove them to your site
- How they engage with your website and how much time they spend on it
- Geographically where they are located to better help you understand your audience
You can also link to WordPress and MailChimp, which make it easier to re-engage your existing patients with informative health blogs and newsletters.
Furthermore, integrations with apps like Google Meet, or Zoom make virtual appointments easy to book, manage, and host.
These are just a few examples of the additional functionality that integrations can provide.
8. Does The Platform Offer Customizable Booking Pages?
No two medical practices have the same needs. Making sure that your booking pages and schedule are customizable is essential.
Creating a page that fits with your branding is great for attracting customers. You’ll want a platform that allows you to:
- Customize your URL with your own domain
- Upload and use your own fonts and colors
- Add about pages to provide additional information about your services
- Display FAQs to answer any burning questions your visitors may have
- Display cover pictures, profile pictures to show off your brand
- Display your social media links to connect with your visitors on other platforms
Plus, you’ll need some serious schedule-customization superpowers.
You’ll be needing to set up or modify:
- Appointment durations so that patients know exactly how long their appointment will be
- Cutoffs to make sure you’re not booked without advanced warning
- Padding to ensure there’s enough time to prepare/clean up before/after appointments
- Approvals to ensure you’re not booked accidentally
- Custom fields to collect unique patient data
- Limits on cancellations or rescheduling
- Multi-day bookings or multiple bookings
These types of customizations allow you to optimize patient scheduling and reduce scheduling conflicts.
9. What Kind of User Experience Does the Platform Offer?
It’s been dubbed the 15 second rule. That’s right - you have just 15 seconds to win internet users over. If they are met with bad UX, poor design, slow processing, and outdated content, they will leave your website without a hint of regret.
As a result, a great user experience on your medical appointment scheduling software plays a large part in retaining your clients, ensuring they get the best of care at all times. If the booking process is simple and easy to execute, your patients will revisit your practice again and again.
Book Like A Boss supports functions such as waiting lists, reminders, and follow-up messages, all of which make your life easier and add value to the overall scheduling experience.
10. Does It Support Automation?
Medical scheduling software should make your life easier and save you time. A large part of that means being able to automate your work.
Automations can help you with:
- Confirming appointments
- Emailing patients appointment notifications and reminders
- Sending SMS appointment reminders to your patients’ phones
- Getting clear booking reports that show you your practice’s booking occupancy
- Taking detailed meeting notes
- Providing easy ways for your patients to cancel appointments
- Effortlessly rescheduling appointments
Automating your scheduling will help you to eliminate time-wasting mistakes that distract you from what really counts - spending quality face time with your patients.
The right medical appointment scheduling software will no doubt make your life easier, add to your practice’s efficiency, and do wonders for patient care.
Choosing a platform is not a decision that you should take lightly. Many softwares aren’t cheap and if you rush into one, you could end up spending a ton of cash without reaping any rewards.
We suggest exploring free trials, asking questions, and taking time to pick the perfect scheduling platform for your practice.
If you’re looking for a medical appointment scheduling software that meets all of the requirements we’ve mentioned in this list, we recommend you check out Book Like A Boss.
Sign up for a free 14-day trial today. No credit card required, just unconditional love and support. We’ll be perfect for your medical practice.