Medical clinic performance depends not only on the number of physicians, but also on the technological tools used by all staff. Here are 7 reasons why a growing number of medical clinic managers choose the Petal Booking solution to meet their health care access challenges.
1. Increased patient satisfaction
While 90% of Canadian respondents say they would like to be able to book their medical appointments online, only 7% of Canadian physicians offer this service. Contrary to what you may think, this number includes seniors, who are using the Internet more and more frequently. The more patients book their appointments online, the shorter the wait time for those who prefer to use the telephone.
Petal Booking offers clinics the possibility of having their own online appointment booking portal. Patients can create an account, register their family members, see physicians’ available time slots and explain the reason for their visit. Our team will take care of integrating the appointment booking portal into your website or creating a web page for you.
2. Simplified administrative tasks
Did you know that the administrative staff of a typical medical clinic spends more than 400 hours a year on the phone simply reminding patients of their appointments?
Petal Booking allows you to automate phone reminders and to simplify several other administrative tasks by computerizing appointment management. From a single interface, staff can create customizable schedules and schedule templates, view appointment history, edit patient records, access physician availabilities and manage the appointment schedule. Centralizing administrative tasks in a single computerized solution gives staff a clear view of the clinic’s operations and saves a considerable amount of time.
The approximate time required to make individual appointment reminder calls.
3. Fewer missed appointments (no shows)
Appointments that are missed, whether because they are forgotten or cancelled at the last minute, can be a real problem for a medical clinic. In addition to reducing revenue, they negatively impact access to health care. For example, studies show that an increase in the rate of missed appointments is accompanied by an increase in the amount of time between the date an appointment is booked and the date of the appointment itself.
Petal Booking allows medical clinics to prevent missed appointments by automatically sending reminders and confirmation requests by email, telephone or text message. It is even possible to attach instructions and forms to reminder emails in order to speed up processing when the patient arrives at the clinic. The patient can confirm or cancel their appointment by responding with a simple “1” or “2” by text message, which prevents last-minute cancellations. Numerous studies cited by Canada Health Infoway show that these measures considerably reduce the rate of missed appointments.
The lost revenue of a typical six-physician clinic with an absentee rate of 10%.
4. Automated service requests
In some clinics, administrative staff must ask patients a series of questions before booking them an appointment. This is particularly true of specialized medical clinics such as radiology, neurology or gynecology clinics, which need to know the patient’s diagnosis or prescription in order to book them the appropriate appointment.
Petal Booking allows clinics to integrate a service request form into their online appointment booking portal, which automates patient classification. For example, if a radiology clinic receives a mammogram request, the patient will have already indicated whether she is booking an appointment because she has been prescribed to do so by a physician or has received a screening letter from the government. She will even have had the option of importing the letter or prescription.
Service request forms can be customized according to the types of appointments offered by the clinic. If all the fields of the form are correctly filled out, the appointment is automatically integrated into the clinic calendar, with consideration given to physician availability and patient preferences. Where applicable, the information is synchronized with the electronic medical record (EMR). For non-standard cases, the service request is sent to the clinic staff so that they may handle the request manually and call the patient.
5. Improved management of walk-in appointments
For medical clinics that offer walk-in appointments, mornings are a high-traffic time, with many patients that have to be processed individually. This puts a lot of pressure on the administrative staff. When nobody is available to answer the telephone, patients on the other end of the line are sometimes forced to make an appointment at another clinic.
The online appointment booking portal offered by Petal Booking allows patients to make an appointment from the comfort of their home. Patients can then arrive just a few minutes before their appointment, which results in shorter line-ups and makes walk-in clinics easier to manage.
Testimonial - Centre Médical Laval
"It took less than a month for us to see a 90% drop in the number of people waiting outside the clinic each morning, which has meant a more manageable workload for our reception staff, particularly at peak hours."
6. Optimization of recurring appointment follow-up
Appointment types such as Well Baby, Injections or Diabetic visits, require recurring visits at a defined time which means the administrators need to know which patients to contact first in order to prevent late follow ups.
Petal Booking provides clinics the ability to customize a list of patients based on a specific criteria such as: appointment type, procedure, month or physician. Once the lists are generated, Petal Booking will automatically send notices to patients reminding them to schedule their next appointment.
7. Easy adjustment for staff
Implementing a computerized solution inevitably involves changes to work habits. As medical clinics are often high traffic environments, administrative staff and healthcare professionals are sometimes reluctant to implement a new technology in fear it will slow them down.
PetalMD understands this reality and provides a specialized advisor to work with the clinic staff in order to gain a thorough understanding of the clinics specific workflow and challenges. Petal Booking has a user friendly interface and is intuitive to navigate thus reducing the learning curve for both the clinic and patients. Since the solution is cloud based, it is accessible on computer, tablet or mobile and the hosting support and maintenance is managed by PetalMD.
Depending on which EMR the clinic is using, Petal Booking has the ability to integrate into the EMR allowing for a seamless flow of patient information. Once Petal Booking is configured, the clinic has access to 24/7 unlimited technical support along with supporting materials to help promote this new service to their patients.
Did you know?
To help clinics facilitate the adoption of online appointment booking, Petal Booking offers materials such as posters announcing the new online portal, small cards explaining how to create an account in five easy steps and a PowerPoint presentation to show on waiting room screens.