Why Should Your Practice Have a Patient Scheduling Software? - image

Why Should Your Practice Have a Patient Scheduling Software?

No matter how healthy you are, you’re probably not excited to get your medical examinations. The process of booking an appointment alone can be enough to intimidate anyone, let alone people who have health conditions that might need extra attention in the first place.

From a doctor’s point of view, this is a huge issue. People who are not willing to visit physicians sow the seed for future health problems. If they’re not comfortable bringing up avoidable issues out of discomfort with going to the doctor, then how will they be able to receive treatment for even more serious health troubles down the road?

Patient scheduling software might be the answer. This article will give it to you straight: how doctor appointment software compares to traditional medical appointment scheduling, and what that means for individuals or practices.

Digital Patient Scheduling Software

Waiting for appointments is stressful. Great doctor appointment scheduling software is how you can remove the stress from your patients’ booking experience. Digital patient scheduling software is one that:

  • allows patients to schedule their appointments online;

  • automatically sends reminders to minimize no-shows;

  • maximizes your team’s productivity;

  • delivers intelligent performance recommendations based on current data;

  • improves patient satisfaction rates.

Let’s say you’re considering the switch from traditional scheduling to doctor appointment booking software. To the uninitiated, it can seem like a huge hassle. You’re devoting time and energy to change systems, which is always marked by a difficult transition period. How do you justify a new patient scheduling system to your team or stakeholders?

Reasons Why You Should Use Online Patient Scheduling Software

Comparing a traditional patient scheduling system and an online clinic appointment management system can help you define the benefits of switching over to a virtual system. Across five different categories, here’s how patient scheduling software compares to pen-and-paper when it comes to booking appointments.

Comparison 1: Scheduling Experience

Pen-and-paper patient appointment scheduling constitutes a scheduling experience most are familiar with. You call a phone number, wait on hold for a while, talk to an agent while you scramble to check your calendar for availability, and then book an appointment which you’ll have to jot down somewhere you don’t forget to check. Is it pleasant? No, not really. Does it work? From a functional point of view, it gets the job done. But at the same time, the process is simply not convenient or comfortable for most patients, especially younger generations who prefer not to communicate through phone calls.

Fortunately, online appointment scheduling offers a clear way to streamline this process. Online is simple. Your customers can book through social media, websites, and apps — with any device they’re most comfortable using. They can view a calendar display of individual provider availability. When booking, they’ll enter their contact information to receive updates and notifications about their upcoming appointment so they’re never in danger of forgetting. Patient scheduling software means:

  • convenient one-click online booking;

  • device/platform compatibility;

  • simple calendar display;

  • automated appointment updates.

Comparison 2: Patient Show Rate

Your average practice has an 18.8% no-show rate. That means you’re losing time and money on one out of every five appointments. With pen-and-paper patient appointment scheduling, patients have no help to hold them accountable for showing up to appointments. You’re basically leaving their appearance up to chance. Doctor appointment scheduling software lets you automate reminders to send out to clients before appointments. You can customize the text or time of reminder and standardize it to match your clinic’s branding. Your patients can stay updated through notifications pushed via email or text message on the status of their appointments. They can cancel and reschedule directly through a simple link or phone number provided in their reminder texts. At its most effective, a clinic appointment management system doesn’t just encourage people to show up. It also ensures that patients can prepare ahead of time and feel safer sharing medical questions or concerns with their practitioner during the appointment.

Comparison 3: Pre- And Post-Appointment Care

Traditional medical care is delivered to patients at the doctor’s office. For most people, this means that you head into a hospital or clinic once or twice a year, receive a medical examination, and then don’t think about it again for the rest of the year. Follow-up is nonexistent. It’s more likely patients will forget about their doctor’s recommendations until the next time an appointment rolls around again. Patient appointment scheduling falls into the hands of the patients, which they’ll usually forget or push off. When the doctor’s advice requires patients to take medicine to improve their condition, negligence leads to longer-term health issues.

Thanks to modern technology, it no longer has to be that way. The best patient scheduling system should serve as more than just a way to book appointments. It’s a patient relationship management platform where practitioners can maintain communication throughout the medical care process and deliver virtual care to patients who truly need it. What can pre- and post-appointment care look like?

  • Reminders to prepare for upcoming appointments. Notifying patients to prepare paperwork or abide by a specific diet before coming in for examinations is easier than ever through a centralized clinic appointment management system.

  • Request more information. Asking your patients for recent health conditions, long-term healthcare goals, and more can align you on how to proceed with appointments. Patient scheduling software often integrates questionnaire or survey options so physicians can review patient details ahead of time.

  • Post-appointment surveys. How do you know what you’ve been doing right or wrong during appointments? Ask your patients. Sending out an automated post-appointment survey to patients helps them feel like their feedback matters, and helps you collect actionable advice on how to improve your care.

  • Health-related follow-ups. Perhaps your patients need an extra push to pick up medication, abide by dietary restrictions, and schedule follow-up appointments. Through the messaging function on doctor appointment software, you can keep patients on track for better health conditions.

  • Public service announcements. Remind your patients to wash their hands during flu season or to stay home during a viral spread. Addressing what’s happening in the world with useful advice strengthens the long-term physician-patient bond.

Comparison 4: Performance Review

Imagine you’re trying to run a marathon and want to improve your speed. What’s the first step to getting faster? Running every day? Strength or endurance training? No. It’s timing your current speed and setting realistic goals according to potential improvement over time. This is because you can’t perform better without knowing your current level of performance. The same goes for any organization, including medical providers interested in finding out how they can function more efficiently.

Without having expert data analysts for staff, you might not even end up with usable information for your practice. Even if you did hire people to help you analyze business data, it will still take hours to compile and review. At that point, your data might already be irrelevant.

That’s where strong patient scheduling software comes in. An intelligent queue management system monitors customer feedback in real-time. Your front desk personnel don’t need to spend additional time scheduling or logging data. All they need to do is continue their customer-facing work, aided by a fully integrated clinic appointment management system.

Comparison 5: Physician Productivity

Six out of ten physicians agree that the average doctor’s visit is too short for effective treatments. Every minute of a doctor’s day is valuable time. Spending that time going back and forth between patients and files is only going to occupy more of the day they could be spending on delivering better care to individual patients.

Streamlining patient appointment scheduling is a time-saver for doctors. Here’s why:

  • Higher patient satisfaction. Improved scheduling experiences are going to prevent patients from getting frustrated, resulting in better physician-patient experiences.

  • Less time waiting, more time treating. At your average practice, patients spend too much time waiting compared to how much they actually spend with the doctor. Cutting down on their waiting time increases the time they can spend in treatment.

  • Reduced administrative work. No more tricky paperwork and messy files means less time spent communicating between doctors and front desk assistants. Less time on admin means more patient face time.

  • Easier communication. Improved pre- and post-appointment care through patient scheduling software cut out unnecessary appointments, saving time for patients who truly need help in person.

Doctors need their time back. Effective patient appointment scheduling will help them do just that, without sacrificing the quality or duration of their care.

What to Look For In Patient Scheduling Software

Let’s say you’re finally done with pen-and-paper scheduling. You’re browsing through options for doctor appointment booking software, but you hardly know where to start. How can you narrow down the field and find the right choice for your practice? Consider picking a patient appointment scheduling solution with the following features:

  • clean, simple design;

  • strong security practices;

  • automation for administrative tasks;

  • communication portal for doctors, patients, assistants, and lab employees;

  • text/email/social media integration;

  • intelligent performance analytics tracking;

  • customization.

There is no absolute best tool for your purposes. Find something that’s simple but effective that works for everyone. Your patients and employees will thank you, and your business will be better than ever before.


In short, doctor appointment scheduling software is a saving grace for medical providers, no matter their size. Compared to pen-and-paper booking, software solutions with smart capabilities are far more efficient. They promise a better scheduling experience, improve patient appearance rates, streamline pre- and post-appointment care, help practices review their own performance more quickly and accurately, and ensure doctors can see more patients without sacrificing a positive patient experience along the way.


What are the benefits of implementing patient scheduling software in a healthcare practice?

Implementing patient scheduling software in a healthcare practice streamlines appointment booking, reducing administrative workload and improving efficiency. It enhances patient experience by reducing wait times and sending automated reminders. Additionally, it helps optimize resource allocation and reduces scheduling errors, ultimately improving overall practice productivity and revenue.

How does patient scheduling software improve the efficiency of appointment booking and management?

Patient scheduling software improves appointment booking and management by allowing patients to book their appointments online, reducing the need for phone calls and manual scheduling. It also automates reminders and notifications (reducing no-shows and ensuring a fuller schedule for healthcare providers) as well as provides real-time updates and access to patient records.

Can patient scheduling software help reduce patient wait times and optimize resource allocation?

Yes, patient scheduling software can help reduce patient wait times by efficiently organizing appointments, minimizing scheduling conflicts, and providing real-time updates to both patients and healthcare providers. It can also optimize resource allocation by ensuring that the right personnel, equipment, and facilities are available when needed, improving overall clinic operations.


Mariia Maliuta
Mariia Maliuta (Copywriter) "Woman of the Word" in BeKey; technical translator/interpreter & writer

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