Specialized medical clinics (radiology, pediatrics, urology, gynecology, psychology, etc.) looking to offer online appointment booking tend to encounter two main issues: staff must ask patients a series of questions before booking an appointment, and appointments booked online must not conflict with regularly scheduled appointments.
Not only do Petal Booking’s new features solve both problems, but system automation can turn these issues into new opportunities to save time. Our team had to address two challenges to accomplish this.
1st challenge: automating patient needs assessments
Patients looking to book appointments with clinics offering second-line services already have a diagnosis and are often subject to specific admission requirements. How can clinic staff assign the right appointment and specialist to patients without talking with them? The answer is simple: by automating the patient classification process.
An Online Service Request Form
The form we developed helps computerize over 80% of patient classifications that are processed in the specialized clinics we tested. Patients are invited to import any specific documents their appointment may require, such as prescriptions, and the questions and conditions contained in each form can be customized for different appointment types.
When a radiology clinic receives a mammogram request, for example, the patient can specify 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 can even upload her letter or prescription. If all conditions are met, the appointment is automatically booked and integrated into the clinic calendar according to physician availability. 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.
2nd challenge: ensuring recurring appointment follow-up
Exams and treatments offered in specialized clinics often require regularly scheduled follow‑ups (every two, three or six months, or year or X number of years, for example). Identifying and contacting patients for follow-up appointments can be a complex, time-consuming task for your clinic’s administrative staff. Petal Booking’s new features make it possible to automate follow-up appointment booking, which makes the management process so much easier.
Priority Appointment Lists
Petal Booking makes it easy to determine which patients must be seen first according to clinic criteria. Staff can generate a priority list and choose to prioritize a specific appointment type, an age bracket or the services of one particular physician, for example. The system can also ensure that, for example, 80%, 90% or 100% of patients from a certain group, say “June 2017,” have been seen before starting to assign appointments to patients in the “July 2017” group.
One of the most useful options afforded by priority appointment lists is the automation of regularly scheduled follow‑ups. Patients who require a follow-up every three months, for example, can be added to a list and automatically receive reminder messages seven days before their appointments.
Petal Booking is a computerized appointment booking solution for healthcare professionals that was developed in partnership with a few of the 32,000 physicians who trust PetalMD. For more information on our new appointment management system adapted for use in specialized clinics, contact us at 1-888-949-8601.