How to Make Medical Scheduling Software

HOW TO MAKE MEDICAL SCHEDULING SOFTWARE

DEVELOPMENT
ARTEM BARMIN
Co-founder at Freshcode
Punctuality is the politeness of kings. And a key to the perfect workflows and a strong positive business reputation. Especially in the healthcare industry, given its specific scheduling features and requirements.

Predicting and anticipating patient needs, quickly filling shifts in the case of no-shows, processing time-off requests, fair employee workload distribution — all this requires process automatization.

Let us together

  • think about how to enhance your existing medical platform
  • define key features of the 24/7 healthcare scheduling software
  • analyze examples of medical appointment scheduling software

1. urgency scheduling problems in healthcare

Businesses often spend more hours optimizing schedules than they care to admit. This applies especially to lodging reservations, ticket booking, education, or urgent care platforms, where this process is very dynamic.

We will stop on the healthcare software for a better understanding of how to build medical scheduling app or upgrade an existing one (and why it's crucial).

Digitalization has dramatically changed the operating models in all industries, including healthcare. The adoption of electronic health records (EHR), IoT, eSignature, TeleHealth, and automated scheduling software have been on the rise.

The last one is still performed in the old way in many organizations. Patients call the medical clinic reception to make an appointment and then the responsible employee looks through the schedule and suggests free time slots.

Sure, such a situation has several drawbacks. Manual processes in the medical care industry are still very common leading to inefficient time management and income loss.
HealthTech Statistic Users
Let's briefly highlight the major benefits of physician scheduling software:

Handy and accessible. Online platforms can be accessed anytime and anywhere. You can easily use them 24/7 and track appointment info in real-time. Switching from the manual way to medical scheduling appointment software significantly helps to refine processes both for patients and physicians.

Cost-effective. Unused scheduling capacity is costing more than you can expect. Automation of medical scheduling systems is the only way to manage cancellations efficiently and avoid revenue losses.

Emergency response without delay. The COVID-19 outbreak has magnified main management challenges in the medical delivery systems, including overworked frontline medical personnel, overcrowded ERs, and long patient wait times. And an automated scheduling system proved to be the best solution to deal with it. Scheduling the right amount of staff to the right place at the right time allows organizations to be always ready for unexpected demand spikes.

Less room for error. Manual appointment scheduling is notoriously prone to mistakes and omissions that could result in double bookings, cancellations, and, as a reault, lost income. The use of old-school medical scheduling guidelines and methods, including paper calendars, manual spreadsheet processes with Excel, and phone calls can produce such errors.
    Medical Scheduling Software features
    Providing advanced information. Doctors need easy access to the patient's information, meanwhile, patients want to know all information about the medical specialist before booking an appointment. Medical scheduling platforms provide users with physician accounts, where you can check their core competencies, experience, photos, and all key data. It's a major healthcare factor influencing clients' decision-making.

    Less missed appointments. Patient no-shows can be a real headache for many businesses. They result in huge losses to the healthcare system every year. According to NHS Digital data, in the course of only 6 months 2020 there were registered 7.8 million patient no-shows in England. On average, it constitutes 42 822 (!) no-shows per day. Appointment scheduling software easily resolves it. Thanks to the in-built reminders, push notifications, and SMS the cases of no-shows can be reduced a lot.

    Increased employee engagement and satisfaction. Employee engagement isn't something to be overlooked. One great way is providing healthcare staff with more advanced opportunities. Give your great employees great software tools to handle their work schedules. By empowering your staff to express their preferences, you give the ease to adjust schedules as per their needs. Moreover, you relieve managers of constantly balancing workload with unknown personal schedules.

    New reporting capabilities. Many appointment scheduling apps have reporting features that you can use to monitor valuable clients. Insights can help you decide better based on the gathered customer data.

      2. basic features of medical scheduling software

      Strengthening workflow capabilities allows medical care businesses to quickly achieve performance improvements and satisfy clients' expectations.

      Here is a list of core features for medical appointment scheduling software enriching your employees' and clients' experiences.
        Medical Scheduling Software Features App
        Click on the image to enlarge
        Registration & Login system. Provides registration options and safe access for patients, doctors, and medical staff and protects sensitive data from unauthorized access.

        Physician/Patient profiles. Doctors need easy access to patient information, as well as what the patient wants to know full information about medical specialists to facilitate a decision-making process.

        Online appointment system. It's the core feature for patients and clinics to arrange online appointments without undue delays and queues. The system should easily enter a patient's info including appointment time, date, contact info, personal data, and any other details required.

        Appointment reminders. Appointment reminders via push notifications, email, or SMS significantly reduce no-show rates and late arrivals. It limits costly gaps in clinics' schedules.

        Insurance eligibility verification. Automated insurance verification is needed to verify the patient's insurance eligibility before her\his visit. It makes you sure of reimbursement of services provided by your company.

        Wait room management.
        Today's digital platforms virtualize the 'waiting room' with chatbots and other automated systems handling the entire pre-visit check-in process and supporting both in-person and virtual visits.

        Live messaging tools. It's an additional option that allows patients to message physicians right on the app and ask questions related to service details before making an appointment.

        Google & Apple calendars synchronization. This option makes it easy to keep track of personal and work appointments in one place and to balance all the meetings and tasks for a complete life view.

        Patients' reviews. You can add a review feature to the scheduling app for gathering feedback and creating transparent ratings to help clients choose the physician.
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        3. medical appointments software: 2022 PRACTICES

        To help you set your priorities straight, we've analyzed six healthcare scheduling apps. Check their features, user experience improvements, dashboard designs, and subscription options to adopt them.
        FollowMyHealth®
        medical scheduling software

        FollowMyHealth® lets users access and manage their health information on the go, including the online scheduling system.

        You can easily schedule, reschedule, or cancel your appointment through the app. Appointments are divided into the three groups for easily fingering and managing:

        • Upcoming (all future appointments that the client has scheduled)
        • Past (all past appointments)
        • Other (all other appointments, such as canceled appointments or appointments that the client didn't show up for)

            NurseGrid sCHEDULING
            appointment scheduling software

            NurseGrid platform provided by HcT2 Co allows healthcare departments to manage schedules, fill open shifts, and increase staff retention.

            NurseGrid hands nurses the reins to:

            • work schedule management
            • compare calendars with colleagues for swaps or off-duty plans
            • track signal availability for additional shifts, swaps, and flex-offs
            • manage shifts at multiple worksites
            • sync with calendar apps
            • send group and private messages to colleagues

                CureMD
                Scheduling asp

                CureMD, an NYC-based healthcare company, provides integrated services across scheduling, electronic billing, reporting, and workflow management. It connects care delivery organizations clinically, operationally, and financially.

                CureMD scheduling management system includes the following facilities:

                • online appointment system
                • patient portal
                • follow-up appointment reminders
                • Electronic Medical Records (EMR)

                  TheraNest
                  medical appointment software

                  Theranest provides an all-in-one practice management system, including physician scheduling software for therapists, psychologists, and counselors. It's designed to 'help mental and behavioral health providers grow their practice'.

                  It offers one calendar for everything, that allows to:

                  • create individual client-, group-, and multi-staff appointments
                  • filter calendar by type of service and staff member
                  • save scheduling time by setting up recurring appointments in the calendar
                  • use client initials instead of full names for anonymity

                      Aimedis

                      Aimedis is a blockchain-based, AI-supported multilingual medical platform providing access for patients, doctors, nurses, therapists, practices, pharmacies, and other industry experts. It offers:

                      • online appointments for physical or virtual consultations
                      • patient-centered medical records
                      • telehealth options
                      • eLearning & eTeaching
                      • online prescriptions with a direct connection to pharmacies
                      • online sick certificates
                      • integration of trackers and specialized devices

                          Appointfix
                          Appointfix scheduling app

                          Appointfix is an online appointment scheduler for fitness and wellness professionals. It offers a basic feature set, including

                          • online appointment scheduling (+recurring and group appointments options)
                          • online booking
                          • calendar
                          • reminders
                          • notes
                          • Google & Apple calendar sync

                          Premium subscription provides several additional options:

                          • sync across two devices
                          • reports
                          • marketing options
                          • multiple templates for messages
                          • messages without brand signature
                          • priority support

                            4. Custom appointment scheduling software Vs. Off-the-shelf solutions

                            In this block, we are going to consider two ways how healthcare companies can evolve technologies to improve workforce productivity and meet new demands.

                            Off-the-shelf physician scheduling software is a ready-made tool provided by a third-party service. You don't need to build a solution from scratch, you just get a completed product in the short term and at an affordable cost.

                            The customized tool is a bespoke, tailored-up product directed entirely at your company's wants. It's a painkiller for your business processes issues that covers specific needs.

                            Let's briefly highlight the main pros and cons of both development types.
                            why to develop custom medical scheduling app

                            Depending on the business model and business needs, both of these solutions come with their benefits.

                            As the custom software product is tailored to your healthcare business and individually crafted by experienced developers, it can be:

                            • integrated with other custom/packaged tools
                            • updated and scaled in the future
                            • used to replace a legacy system

                            In other words, it's a long-term investment, while ready-made scheduling software is a good option for cost-efficiently and fast-closing tasks.

                            If you are looking to choose between these two approaches take a short test for a better understanding of which one better suits you.
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                            5. Takeaway

                            Automated scheduling is a must-have for a client-friendly medical practice. It enhances the patient experience, increases medical staff satisfaction, and helps to run the day-to-day workflow activities as efficiently as possible.

                            With over 8 years of experience in web and mobile development, Freshcode has carried out multiple projects related to medical care and HIPAA-compliant scheduling software in particular.

                            And we know for sure that the main task is to provide the best-automated workflow process avoiding routine repetitive tasks both for service providers and clients. While the medical personnel can focus on what matters, the patients can receive better service and care they need.

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