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Can't Get No Satisfaction? Get Rolling with Simplified Appointment Scheduling

Family conversing with a nurse at a reception desk

Picture this scenario: After finding a ride to her local hospital, Mary is dropped off for a MRI. However, it turns out that Mary wasn’t properly pre-registered at her previous appointment. Now Mary is forced to reschedule and then wait at the hospital until her friend who dropped her off can return.

For Mary, who lives about 45 minutes away, this misstep is a huge inconvenience that will mean several hours lost out of her day, not to mention her friend’s time. On top of that, Mary’s delayed MRI will postpone her ability to receive the care she needs in a timely manner—a fact that could not only negatively impact her overall health, but also dissuade her from returning to this hospital.

Unfortunately, Mary’s scenario is fairly commonplace, especially for patients who live in rural areas. Consider if another patient, John, took an unpaid day off of work to drive 30-plus miles only to experience a similar scheduling misstep.

These hypothetical situations can be very real problems for the 1 in 5 Americans who live in rural communities. According to the National Rural Health Association, this demographic is also older, more susceptible to illness, and suffers higher rates of chronic disease like heart disease and diabetes than their urban counterparts.

A Shift in Patient Expectations is Connected to Patient Satisfaction

In the care coordination process, considerable pitfalls can affect both patients and providers alike. Though providers, missed appointments, referral inefficiencies and poor communication are not necessarily new, the industry-wide shift to a value-based model of care underscores just how problematic these lingering organizational cracks and inconsistencies can be to a provider’s bottom line.

As providers devise new strategies to boost patient satisfaction in their value-based care models, hospitals and healthcare facilities know all-too-well the importance of turning those initiatives into actionable results. Streamlined appointment scheduling platforms can ease the care coordination process for patients, perhaps most notably in its ability to provide a sense of immediacy. With a simplified system, patients can schedule follow-up appointments and upcoming procedures on the same day of their appointment, eliminating any unnecessary waiting.

The Benefits of Better Scheduling

An easy-to-use, streamlined scheduling solution not only increases patient satisfaction, but has added benefits for providers as well:

  • Added patient convenience
  • Improved patient experience
  • Helps ensure patients stay in network
  • Helps reduce patient leakage
  • Supports hospital’s bottom-line

In the past, scheduling errors were often perceived as an acceptable, commonplace part of the healthcare experience. As patient expectations have evolved to something more akin with a customer experience, hospitals can’t afford to ignore the values placed on convenience and certainty.

MEDHOST’s YourCare ContinuumTM was developed to help make appointment scheduling easier and more efficient for the patient, while also helping providers increase patient visibility, manage hospital services and share clinical information. Read on to learn how YourCare Continuum addresses the challenges of scheduling patients and coordinating care more effectively with its cross-platform, role-based appointment scheduling solution.

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