Booking doctor’s appointments can be a tedious and ineffective task for both patients and the Health System. Patients are first required to call the provider office to book an appointment, While they might be connected to someone right away, if that scheduler was already on the phone, they would instead be placed on hold or they might have to leave a voicemail and wait for someone to call them back. This did not only take time away from patients but also posed a risk for delaying health care. Just like the traditional paperwork has now shifted to tabloids and computer registry or Online self-scheduling in health, now booking doctor’s appointments is made easy using technology and online data entry.

There are various online self-scheduling systems on the market. Some of the vendors of these systems include AppointmentPlus, Medfusion, Odoro, Relatient, SCI Solutions, Solutionreach and WELL Health. Among these markets, the online self-scheduling system at Benefits Health System wanted to give their patients and doctors a streamlined scheduling experience and ensure that appointment availability is consistently up-to-date when a patient is searching for and booking a visit. Benefis Health System, an independent, non-profit health care system headquartered in Great Falls, Montana, covers an area of 38,000 square miles with several rural communities. This indicates that there are many people in this health system seeking care.

“Experian Health’s MyHealthDirect platform offered a sophisticated solution that could integrate with our NextGen practice management system. The online self-scheduling process is built on a decision support process that guides patients through a series of questions in which those answers are used to quickly and accurately match patients with the best fit provider and appointment type based on their care concern.” said Kaci Husted, vice president of communications and business development at Benefis Health System. Benefis made online self-scheduling open to all patients through its website, which they can use on any computer or device connected to the Internet.

“We see about 50% of our patients booking after hours through MyHealthDirect, and that number is continually growing every month,”Hustle informed. “For patients who are busy and may not have time to call us during business hours, this is a great convenience. They have the freedom to book on their own time, and via their mobile device from any location.”

The automated system also ensures that all the providers are placing patients into the correct provider and appointment type so that it saves time for the patient and the doctor and allows best visit possible.

“An added benefit of the solution was the analytics it could provide following implementation,” she explained. “By tracking scheduling activity over time, the technology proposed it could see exactly where we needed to hone in on and tweak our questions to optimize the patient experience and better qualify scheduling.”

It’s the ultimate win for a health system to offer this kind of convenience to its patients. By providing customer service type to patients, healthcare systems can improve the patient-doctor communication and make the access to healthcare easy and affordable.