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VP of Delivery at Relevant Software

Prescription for Efficiency: The Real Value of Healthcare Scheduling Software Systems

January 22, 2024


Inefficiencies in the form of poor staff and appointment scheduling have some of the biggest impacts on medical organizations. Patient no-shows, increased workload and stress, and, ultimately, worker burnout lead to significant revenue loss and low productivity of your medical staff. Appointment scheduling should be given more attention in most clinics and hospitals. If you want to change that as a healthcare executive and are ready to switch from using spreadsheets to something better, comprehensive healthcare scheduling software systems are what you need.

Believe us, as a provider of healthcare software development services for quite some time, scheduling and keeping track of patient appointments can be effortless with the right software. To prove that, we’ve created a detailed guide on everything you should know about healthcare scheduling software systems: key features, benefits, and a list of top solutions.   

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What is a Healthcare Scheduling Software System?

Healthcare appointment scheduling software is a tool that helps doctors manage and organize appointments, allocate medical staff, and automate administrative workflows. With healthcare scheduling systems, appointments are never missed, and doctors with nurses are where they need to be. This software helps you and your staff allocate time slots in a way that reduces wait times and prevents double bookings. Your patients will also find this solution convenient as it allows you to request appointments online and receive reminders about the upcoming meeting.

healthcare scheduling software systems

Instead of dealing with papers trying to figure out who comes and on what days to allocate the necessary number of personnel, healthcare providers can do that in a few clicks using software and spend every minute caring for patients. So, basically, healthcare scheduling software systems do what medical personnel do, but faster and more conveniently, enabling them to focus on delivering better care.      

Key Features of Healthcare Scheduling Software Systems

Scheduling systems for healthcare may offer different functionalities, yet most of them provide essential software features for automating appointment booking and keeping your business afloat in more than one way.

Features of Healthcare Scheduling Software Systems

Appointment booking and management

This is the main function of scheduling software and the reason why companies implement this solution. These tools offer a user-friendly interface with available time slots, making it simple for doctors and administrators to select suitable appointment time and keep a record of patient’s visits in order. Some medical scheduling software also gives patients an opportunity to book appointments online. This self-service feature allows patients to view the doctor’s schedule and book, reschedule, or cancel appointments at their convenience.     

Integration with electronic health records (EHR)

A critical feature for smooth provider workflows, it ensures that patient scheduling solution connects seamlessly to your EHR systems. It makes appointment scheduling or canceling much more easier for practitioners since they will have access to patient information and medical records right from the healthcare scheduling software systems. At least doctors don’t need to open another app to look for information on the appointed patient.

Automated reminders and notifications

This crucial functionality can help hospitals deliver better service and, most importantly, reduce no-show rates. Through automated reminders and alerts for impending appointments, healthcare providers can remind about the day and time of the upcoming visit as well as send notifications regarding medication intake. The software lets you send reminders via email, SMS, or phone calls to ensure a patient gets it.

Automated reminders and notifications

Multi-user access and role-based permissions

By granting specific access to different user groups (doctors, administrative workers, nurses), your clinic can better manage patient information while adding security and preventing unauthorized access. For instance, an administrative assistant may have permission to book an appointment for a patient, but only a medical professional can approve it. 

Reporting and analytics capabilities

Not all, but good healthcare scheduling software systems offer reporting tools to analyze data such as shows and cancellations, booking rates, and other appointment trends. Thanks to these capabilities, clinics can optimize scheduling and workflows to gain overall efficiency. If you can’t find a tool with decent reporting and analytics tools, developing a custom healthcare app will be a good solution in this case. 

Benefits of Healthcare Scheduling Software Systems

Making the switch from an archaic phone-based approach to a modern healthcare scheduling system is no longer a barrier, thanks to the cost-effectiveness and wider availability of tech solutions. With software, you can achieve efficient patient appointment scheduling that will boost your organization’s outcomes and bring some other alluring benefits. 

Benefits of Healthcare Scheduling Software Systems
  • Improved patient appointment management

Roughly 52% of medical organizations spend around 10 hours per week managing appointments, consuming premium hours for clinical work. That’s a lot of time the hospital staff can spend doing more critical tasks instead. Healthcare scheduling software systems automate many manual tasks associated with booking appointments: creating appointment records, sending confirmation emails and SMS reminders, managing waitlists, and more. The system can also store all information the doctor may require in one place, which greatly simplifies the preparation for a visit. Thus, it helps practitioners manage their schedules and patient load with high efficiency.

  • Enhanced staff efficiency and productivity

A study published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine found that nearly 50% of healthcare workers, including clinical staff, nurses, and physicians, reported burnout. By going paperless and automating tedious manual work, the software healthcare scheduling solution reduces the workload for medical workers. No more phone-based appointment scheduling, cancelations, and reschedules – an online booking system will take care of it. By implementing scheduling software, hospitals can establish a more organized and effective work environment that boosts staff productivity.     

Enhanced staff efficiency and productivity
  • Reduction in no-shows and last-minute cancellations

No-shows are a huge disruption to your administrative staff workflow and a considerable loss of income for your organization. The average no-show rate across healthcare settings in North America is 27%. That’s 5 appointment slots out of your 20 appointment day. If your average cost per visit is $150 and you have 20 appointments to fill per day, you’re losing an average of $750 per day, $3,750 per week, $15,000 per month, or $180,000 per year.  

Healthcare scheduling software systems that automatically send notifications to patients will make a difference. A study revealed that automated reminders decrease missed appointments by up to 7%. Moreover, self-scheduling options allow patients to reschedule or cancel their visits beforehand more conveniently than doing it over the phone. At the same time, the software saves clinics time and money. Instead of wasting resources on no-shows, providers can focus on improving the experience of patients who are showing up.  

  • Better resource allocation and management

With an automated scheduling tool, you’ll have a full overview of the number of appointments and requested services, which helps you better allocate human resources to reduce your staff’s workload. The same thing is true with equipment and resources in a hospital system. Let’s say you need to book an operation room, the system will automatically alert you as to which are available and find the best match for a needed time. Also, all employees will have the essential information about their appointments to prepare accordingly and minimize the risk of unexpected events.  

  • Improved patient satisfaction and engagement

Nowadays, the way a patient books an appointment matters. Accenture found that 68% of patients prefer health systems that provide online scheduling options with the possibility to book, change, or cancel appointments. By offering self-service scheduling, patients can quickly book appointments at any time, fitting their schedules without calling. It saves time and increases satisfaction for busy patients. As a result, your patients are happier as they get the care they need when they need it most.  

Top 7 Scheduling Software For Healthcare

Medical patient scheduling software comes in different forms. We can distinguish a few types of these solutions:

  • Plugins or modules for EHR systems
  • White-label solutions
  • SaaS patient appointment scheduling platforms 
  • Custom-built scheduling apps for healthcare

The quickest way to implement and enjoy the advantages of healthcare scheduling software systems is to integrate ready-made software solutions available on the market. Remember, such tools differ in features, use cases, and supported platforms. Custom solutions, on the other hand, can involve any features you need to meet your specific needs and use cases. In this section, we provide you with the 7 ready-made healthcare scheduling software systems that top the market.  

RXNT

RXNT is a cloud-based medical scheduling software that integrates with EHR to streamline appointment management and enhance patient care. Seamless integration with EHR is one of its strongest sides. However, this software may require staff training to use it optimally. RXNT is designed for small, medium, and large practices and can be accessed on iOS, Windows, and Linux devices.

10to8

10to8 is one of the most popular healthcare scheduling software systems that you can join with a free trial. It’s a scalable, feature-rich, and secure solution that offers numerous benefits, including an increased number of converted appointments. What’s more, 10to8 software integrates easily with Google Calendar, PayPal, WordPress, and Facebook, letting you synchronize most in-demand apps for smoother operations. It’s also quite easy to use, so you won’t need additional training to start to reap the benefits of automated appointment scheduling. 

WEAVE

WEAVE platform is a suite of healthcare management solutions that lets medical professionals deliver first-rate online patient experiences. Among numerous other features, it offers an integrated online scheduling system that enables patients to conveniently book appointments directly from the practitioner’s website. Opting for this solution, you’ll be able to send automated reminders of upcoming appointments to your patients. You can also find helpful features such as marketing automation, patient messaging, and billing services supported by the WEAVE platform.

Solutionreach 

Another comprehensive healthcare platform, Solutionreach, offers different services, with appointment management and booking being two of its top critical features. An easy-to-use cloud-based solution helps doctors improve communication with their patients and simplify appointment management. In addition to the basic functions that standard healthcare scheduling software systems have, Solutionreach provides telehealth solutions, patient surveys, and relationship management functionality.

AdvancedMD 

If you want to improve your front office’s medical efficiency, then AdvancedMD is a good option to try. This software is full of useful features for medical practices. Apart from healthcare scheduling software systems, clinics can leverage billing solutions and reporting tools. AdvancedMD is a flexible platform, allowing you to create your own product bundle or choose one of the preconfigured. Yet, the platform’s initial setup may take some time, especially for large organizations.     

NexHealth

NexHealth is the patient engagement platform that focuses on providing convenient appointment scheduling and reliable communication tools. The aim of this software is to improve patient experience, so it’s not surprising it offers a robust set of features like auto-reminders, virtual waitlists, digital registration forms, and online payments. You can also find solutions for marketing and relationship management within NexHealth’s offerings.     

RingCentral 

Rather than healthcare scheduling software systems, RingCentral specializes in delivering cloud communication and collaboration solutions for healthcare organizations. That’s why their primary offerings are centered around workflow collaboration, file sharing, and task management. But RingCentral also provides tools for appointment booking through an integrated calendar. You can also improve patient engagement with the platform’s built-in video and phone call capabilities that speed up response times. Other strong sides of this platform are high security and HIPAA compliance.

Healthcare Scheduling Software Systems: Final Thoughts 

The days of calling to schedule an appointment by phone are numbered, and manual processes require fixes. Adopting healthcare scheduling software systems is the only way to meet the demands of 68% of patients who prefer booking online, or you risk losing them. With scheduling systems in healthcare, not only will you satisfy your patients but also make your employees happier and more productive, not to mention the financial side of a smooth-running appointment scheduling.   

While free appointment booking software is out there at your disposal, custom development can address all your needs and pains. Most healthcare organizations prefer building custom solutions with a perspective to scale in the future. Creating custom software as per your requirements is the best way to avoid paying for features you don’t use or if you struggle to find software with the necessary features. Relevant Software can build such a solution tailored to your specific needs. We have solid industry expertise, and our team will help you get rid of administrative headaches through our healthcare app development services.  



Written by
VP of Delivery at Relevant Software
Anna Dziuba is the Vice President of Delivery at Relevant Software and is at the forefront of the company's mission to provide high-quality software development services. Her commitment to excellence is reflected in her meticulous approach to overseeing the entire development process, from initial concept to final implementation. Anna's strategic vision extends to maintaining the highest code quality on all projects. She understands that the foundation of any successful software solution is its reliability, efficiency, and adaptability. To this end, she champions best practices in coding and development, creating an environment where continuous improvement and innovation are encouraged.

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