/ /

  • linkedin
  • Increase Font
  • Sharebar

    Online appointing to surge; will you offer it?

    A recent report from Accenture says two thirds of U.S. health systems will offer self-scheduling services online by 2019.

    The report also predicts 38 percent of appointments—that works out to about 986 million appointments—will be self-scheduled by patients online by that time, saving $3.2 billion. Today, only 2.4 percent of all appointments are self-scheduled online. 

    7 financial challenges ODs will face in 2015

    “Driven by patient demands for greater convenience and more control, U.S. health systems are adopting digital patient self-scheduling tools to differentiate themselves competitively, improve efficiencies, and enhance patient engagement and satisfaction,” the report’s authors write.

    According to the report, a recent Acenture survey found that 77 percent of patients believe that the ability to book, change, or cancel an appointment online is important.

    Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member Michael Rothschild, OD, says that as our lives become increasingly interconnected with the online world, it is completely understandable that two out of three doctor’s appointments will be made digitally.

    “When was the last time you called a travel agent to buy an airline ticket? For most of us, it has been a while,” says Dr. Rothschild exclusively to Optometry Times. “Recently I hung up the phone with a hotel to make my hotel reservation with the same hotel online. I don't know why, I just prefer it.”

    According to Accenture, nearly 40 percent of the top 100 healthcare systems in the U.S. currently offer online appointment scheduling, but it predicts that figure will increase to 100 percent by 2019. Of all the remaining health systems outside of the top 100, only 10 percent are offering online appointment scheduling, but Accenture predicts that will rise to 55 percent over the next few years.

    Finding and incorporating the right office manager

    While online appointment scheduling poses some challenges concerning privacy and security, Dr. Rothschild says optometrists have been ahead of many other areas of health care when adopting this new technology.

    “I think ODs are leading the charge in this area among due to our competitive nature. Some have stopped waiting on the perfect solution and use a third party scheduler,” he says.

    There are a number of programs that offer online scheduling, including SolutionReach, 4PatientCare, RevolutionEHR, WebSystem3, and Intuit, among others.

    Next: Benefits of scheduling appointments online

    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...


    You must be signed in to leave a comment. Registering is fast and free!

    All comments must follow the ModernMedicine Network community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated. ModernMedicine reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part,in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

    • No comments available

    Optometry Times A/V