It’s essential that clinics take a systematic approach to their appointment booking procedures. This is often difficult because the very nature of a clinic is one of reactivity, driven by patient demand, leaving little room for proactive use.
The Appointment Booking Process
The process in itself is very straight forward, a patient calls, a date is agreed for an appointment, the appointment is booked and the patient then visits the clinic. Yes, that sounds pretty easy and it is when you look at just one patient and appointment, but when this builds to one hundred or one thousand or more patients contacting the clinic at their convenience to book an appointment that will suit them, it becomes far more complicated, because of the demands on time.
The Clinical Investment
For a simple process to work when it’s being used by so many, a clinic needs to make the investment to employ people who can take on the task of answering patient calls, working with them to find a date and booking them into the right appointment slot.
This investment can be very costly and when we think of clinics we often picture the busy reception areas we see in larger hospitals, but so often clinics can be formed and run by one or two specialists in anything from a medical practice to physiotherapy, massage, cosmetic treatments, chiropody and podiatry, and alternative therapies too. Therefore, they need to look at cost effective ways to run their appointment system, removing the stress from them without reducing the efficiency of the practice in order to maintain their service and the footfall of patients through it too.
The alternative option for clinics is to outsource this work, because it’s more cost effective and can be managed by an experienced team who deal with hundreds and thousands of similar processes each day.
Yet if the appointment making process is outsourced to a team who deal with these enquiries from a number of clinics each day, how can they maintain a personal service for each clinic? Technology is the answer, as the systems they use within a telephone answering service allow them to answer the phone using a clinic’s name. Therefore, the patient / client is under the impression that they are contacting their clinic. Also, the operative is taught to respond in a way that promotes this belief throughout the call.
Technology also allows the service to hold diaries for each clinic’s and they work within the appointment slots that are designated by the clinic too.
Clinics across Scotland and the UK use KBVO Clinic Answer for their telephone answering and appointment booking, because it’s a cost effective solution providing professional operators and PA’s who work with clinics to ensure their appointment booking systems run effectively.