Choosing the best appointment booking software for your practice is confusing. There are so many things to think about and so much choice!
Electronic diary management uses appointment booking software which we – the virtual receptionists- and you -the practitioners- can both see in real time. This avoids the risk of double booking – we are all looking at the same page.
Our clients use a range of appointment booking software so we see a variety of them. We don’t recommend any brand in particular but here are some ideas to get you started. The first thing to remember is that once you have started using one it’s difficult to change, and the choice is huge so it is worth asking other people in your profession what they use and then giving them a try.
Here are some headers to think about:
Virtual receptionist appointment scheduling
This is obviously most important from our point of view.
We need to be able to view the back end of the diary, which can be a problem with some diaries designed to go on a website. If some-one phones to check when their appointment is we need to be able to find it by putting their name in, not by scrolling through pages of diary.
We have to have several receptionists logged into the diary concurrently. When there are 2 callers ringing your clinic at the same time a second receptionist must be able to access your diary without knocking the first one off. We like to stay logged in all day as logging in each time we get a call for you is time consuming.
In an ideal situation a booking would entail this sequence:
- Find the patient in contacts, or create new
- Find an appointment
- Book it.
Take advantage of free trial of the diary and try this sequence before you commit, to ensure it suits you.
Most diaries run on a monthly charge and the providers will be maintaining and hosting the software for you. Is it affordable long term? If you get other practitioners in the clinic how much will it cost for them to use the software? What is the charge for virtual reception services to log in to the diary?
To be fair all the software we have seen has been quick to adopt the GDPR regulations. As a user of the software you are required to ensure that contact details and clinical details of your clients are being stored securely.
It needs to be really, really clear so that we can see who is in clinic and that an appointment is free. Our rule is that if there is a white space it is available for booking. And sharing a diary, although it might be cost saving can complicate the booking.
Can you do all the things you need to with it.
Standard functions would be:
- automated sms appointment reminders to your clients,
- embed it in your website,
- an audit trail
more specialised functions:
- Does it provide suitable patient record software for your profession and for other practitioners who may use it?
- Can you link it to a merchant account to take payment?
- Can it be used for NHS or insurance funded treatments?
Once you have chosen give us a call to talk through how our virtual reception service can help you.