First impressions count: improving the patient experience

It’s no surprise that 87% of healthcare leaders have noted patient satisfaction as the top priority for their organization (source: HIMSS 2015 Leadership Survey).

According to an Accenture report, the average time to complete a scheduling call was 8.1 minutes—three minutes longer than the national average call length. This call time also exceeds the cross-industry best practice of 3.7 minutes, topping both cable industry (5.4 minutes) and banking industry (3.7 minutes) averages.

The report also found that

  • Agents transferred calls 63 percent of the time.
  • Only a disappointing 59 percent of calls resulted in a scheduled appointment on the first try.
  • 77 percent of US healthcare consumers feel it is important for them to have the ability to manage appointments electronically.

With only 10% of providers offering online scheduling, patients are woefully underserved and often come away with poor experiences. Appointment scheduling is the onramp to the healthcare experience and needs to be done well in order to create happy, healthy patients. Online appointment scheduling is the obvious solution to meet the expectations of healthcare consumers while also improving staff efficiency. The benefits don’t end with a patient’s initial booking and a follow-up reminder.

Online scheduling helps improve patient outcomes, lower cost of care and streamline operations. The convenience of this kind of system can reduce wait times, turn no-shows into cancellations, offer easy rescheduling for those cancellations, and help manage and insert wait list patients in last minute slots.

If more than 30 percent of call duration is “unproductive time” waiting on hold, then utilizing online appointment scheduling will not only eliminate consumer frustration, but also empower patients to take ownership of their health.

After all, first impressions count.

Learn more about how online appointment scheduling helps improve the patient experience in our free report, Improving Health Outcomes.

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