What is a Patient Scheduling System?

What is a Patient Scheduling System?

A Patient Scheduling System, also known as Patient Appointment System or doctor appointment booking system, is a solution that makes it easy to do healthcare scheduling. Hospitals, health centres, clinics and healthcare service providers use a patient booking system to automate workflows, allot staff across shifts, and manage appointments.

Patient Scheduling Systems are software applications that digitalise the workflow of healthcare scheduling. They do this by automating certain tasks, such as allocating staff across shifts or managing appointments. Other features include communication between patients and medical providers and digital records. A patient booking system may be linked to a hospital’s electronic records system so that information can be readily available in case a patient needs to communicate with their physician or clinic later on.

A Patient Scheduling System typically contains algorithms to facilitate patients to make online booking for doctor appointments and lower wait time for patients. Commonly, these healthcare scheduling systems also let patients and medical personnel communicate with one another for appointments, examinations, and treatments.

An online medical appointment booking system is usually delivered as a cloud-based solution that handles everything from patient scheduling and administrative tasks. This is often the preference for larger institutions because of their reliability and scalability. On the other hand, some healthcare providers might still want to use an on-premise, private cloud option or even a workgroup type of medical scheduler due to business specific reasons.

Why are Patient Scheduling Systems important?

Patient appointment scheduling involves booking patients for meetings, following up, and sending reminders. It can be done manually or through an online medical appointment booking system.

As a healthcare practitioner, healthcare scheduling may seem easy enough – just put each patient’s appointment into an available calendar timeslot.

However, problems start arising when you encounter no-shows, late patients, or appointment change requests. This causes your staff to spend hours following up on appointments and manually updating your doctor calendar. Before you know it, the majority of you and your staff’s time is spent on these administrative tasks instead of the thing that matters – your patients.

As a clinic with constant inflow of patients, manually conducting your healthcare scheduling manually might not be very practical. The constant back-and-forth will take away your staff’s bandwidth from more productive functions.

While you may enjoy the fast-paced nature of keeping busy, you know that without the right system or process, you might find your clinic having trouble keeping afloat.

This is where the power of a good healthcare scheduling system shines.

Appointment Scheduling

One benefit of a patient scheduling system is that they help your team to avoid the daily struggles of filling last-minute shifts to meet changing patient loads. These systems contain features that enable your team to semi or fully automate your patient appointment scheduling. This tends to result in lower overhead costs, improved staff and patient retention, and an overall better patient experience and satisfaction.

Minimise No-Show Rate

Another major benefit of patient scheduling systems is minimising no-show-ups. In healthcare bookings, no-shows are a waste of the service provider’s time (and money), as the doctor’s time is being blocked out for the time of the appointment. With a good patient scheduling system however, they often have notification and reminder features to remind patients of their upcoming appointment. This can be in the form of email or SMS.

These systems also often have features to reschedule a patient’s appointment in the case they have a last-minute change of plan. This ultimately benefits the healthcare service provider as they minimise no-shows and maximise their most valuable resource – their time.

Build Trust Amongst Your Patients

A third benefit of a patient appointment system is that it helps you build trust amongst your patients by looking more professional. No matter the size of your clinic, you need a patient appointment system to look more professional and trustworthy.

In summary, practically all healthcare-related businesses can gain significant benefit from using a patient scheduling & registration software, as healthcare providers digitise and new tools and systems are developed, healthcare professionals will be able to better serve their patients to ensure a good outcome!

If you are looking for a quality patient scheduling system for your clinic, we would recommend Galen Health’s Clinic Management System. It is a Clinic Management System, Made by Clinicians for Clinical Practices and comes with multiple features such as patient scheduling and registration.

Who Should Use a Patient Scheduling & Registration System?

If you are a healthcare provider that sees multiple patients on a regular basis, there is a good chance that you need a patient scheduling and registration system.

That includes, but isn’t limited to, small and mid-sized medical offices and clinics – for example: dentists, optometrists, chiropractors, etc., hospitals, rehabilitation centres, home health services such as field nurses, health & wellness centres, solo practitioners, and more.

In short, we believe that all healthcare service providers should use a patient scheduling & registration system. The benefits far outweigh the cost!

Best Practices in Implementing a Patient Scheduling System

Not all patient booking systems are created equal. Every patient appointment scheduling system has different features which suits different clinics and healthcare practitioners. Here are some best practices and traits to look out for in a patient scheduling and registration system.

1: Patient self-serve portal

Some patient scheduling systems have a patient self-serve portal to allow patients to manually make an online booking for doctor appointments without involving any of your administrative staff. This essentially frees up your staff’s time and allows them to shift their focus to more critical tasks.

For clinics and healthcare practitioners that are worried their patients won’t be too happy to manually make an appointment, fret not. Studies by Microsoft found out that 90% of customers expect organisations to have a self-service portal, in fact, they prefer to book appointments without having to interact with a human. Furthermore, according to Statista, 40% of patients book appointments online in Denmark.

Having a patient self-scheduling portal provides numerous benefits for healthcare providers. It is likely to increase patient satisfaction, and allow patients to book appointments anytime, anywhere. And lower the call volume to your clinic – this means less manpower needed to handle calls.

My removing the human involvement from call to appointment also has a major benefit of removing human error. This means higher patient satisfaction and lesser time needed to correct these errors.

2: Automated reminders

Most patient scheduling systems with self-serve portals work by collecting your patients contact information such as email address or phone number through an intake form. They also tend to have an automated reminder feature that will send reminder notifications to patients about their booked appointments. This reduces the no-show rate and significantly reduces the amount of time that you or your staff needs to spend on following up with patients.

3: Integration with other healthcare systems such as InnoQuest & Parkway Labs

As a clinic, you probably have multiple healthcare systems and softwares. A huge challenge arises when you have a need to send data between systems to complete your workflow. Manually doing so takes up tons of man hours and opens up the possibility of human errors.

Having a patient scheduling system that integrates with other healthcare softwares allows you to bypass this by automating parts of the healthcare workflow. An additional bonus would be to have an integration into government-linked health systems. This enables you to access records in government systems and saves you countless hours required to access those data.

For example, Galen Health’s Clinic Management patient appointment scheduling system integrates with Electronic Health Records (EMR) to access and update patient information and some collect and process crucial patient data that is fed into medical billing software. This removes the need for a human to manually perform the task, it also reduces the possibility for human errors.

As a SmartCMS Programme Gold Tier 1 participant, Galen Health’s Clinic Management system can integrate into Singapore’s public healthcare systems all in one platform. They are also integrated into the National Electronic Health Record.

4: Easy to use and accessible

Healthcare scheduling systems shouldn’t be difficult to use or confusing for your staff and patients. It is meant to make your life easier, not harder.

A good healthcare scheduling system should be easy to use, simple to understand, and quick to navigate. It should also be easily accessible by your staff.

That said, some advanced healthcare scheduling systems might have many features, this makes them complex and difficult to use. In that case, they should ideally provide training or onboarding for your staff. This will help them get up to speed quickly and unlock the benefits of your patient scheduling system fast.

5: Secure data and privacy compliant

Data security and privacy is one of the top concerns in today’s era. In the Global Consumer State of Mind Report 2021, it is reported that 76% of people believe companies must do more to protect their data online. This concern is even greater in the healthcare sector, where the patient’s data are of sensitive nature.

Data privacy laws are also becoming increasingly complex. As every country will have their different data privacy requirements, healthcare providers need to choose an appropriate patient scheduling system that adheres to your local data privacy law.

That is why it is critical for patient scheduling systems to be secure and privacy compliant. A medical scheduler system will have key security features such as data encryption to protect the security of your patient’s data. It will also have in place key privacy compliant features that adhere to your local data privacy laws.

Why should a doctor use Galen Health’s Clinic Management System?

As a healthcare practitioner, your patients are your priority, all other non-core functions simply serve to distract you from providing quality service to your patients. A good health clinic management system helps you by streamlining and automating these functions.

Galen Health’s Clinic Management System helps you by simplifying day-to-day operations with an easy-to-use clinic management software, so that you can focus on your patients.

Their system has multiple essential features and key integrations such as patient scheduling and registration feature, Electronic Medical Reports (EMR), doctor clinical notes, lab report integration, claims management and more. These features are built specifically to make healthcare practitioners’ lives easier.

Galen Health’s Clinic Management System also has secure end-to-end encryption, this ensures the privacy and security of your patients’ data.

As a SmartCMS Programme Gold Tier 1 participant, Galen Health’s Clinic Management System is fully integrated with the public healthcare system and programmes such as CHAS and PHPC. It supports the seamless integration flow between clinics and public healthcare systems. They are also trusted by some of the most renowned clinics across Singapore.

Galen Health’s Clinic Management System is trusted by some of the most renowned healthcare names in Singapore. Including Healthway Medical, SBCC (formerly known as Singapore Baby and Child Clinic), The Clinic Group, Tooth Stories and more.

Galen Health’s Clinic Management System is the perfect Clinic Management System, built for Solo Practitioners, Medical Groups and Hospitals. They offer free set-up, free onboarding and training, free demo and 24-hour support.

In the end, Galen Health’s Clinic Management System benefits all healthcare practitioners by helping them reduce your and your staff’s workload, improve operating efficiency, and increase patient satisfaction. Your staff will be thanking you for implementing this system in your healthcare practice.