A text message can have a powerful effect on the medical industry by reminding a patient of an upcoming doctor’s appointment. Patients benefit because they don’t forget their appointment, or can cancel without paying a penalty. Doctors benefit because kept appointments make their practice profitable.
Text messaging also helps healthcare organizations book appointments and optimize time with doctors. Many use automated text messaging to confirm and offer to reschedule appointments.
Many hospitals and emergency medical care facilities are adopting an online appointment scheduling system. For a patient that does not have a medical emergency, scheduling an appointment online reduces the amount of time the patient has to spend on the phone.
The average emergency room visit usually lasts more than four hours. More and more hospitals around the country are shortening wait times by introducing an online system where patients can make an appointment. Reducing wait times in the ER, of course, leads to better patient satisfaction.
Sonya Granillo of Southern California praised the new reservation system. Her husband sought relief for his intense back pain and visited the emergency room at Northridge Hospital Medical Center. Unfortunately, the wait was a little long for Granillo and he left the ER without ever being seen by a doctor.
When Sonya discovered that she could make an ER appointment online using her mobile phone, her husband was seen almost immediately. “The minute I told her who he was and why we were here, (the nurse) opened the door and let him in,” she said.
While this system is not meant for life-threatening medical emergencies, it provides the benefits of allowing walk-in patients to know when it would be best to come in. If anyone has an emergency, call 911. True medical emergencies should be addressed right away.
This enables patients to send a text message to book an appointment, any time of day or night. Now patients can find out when their doctor is available without the hassle of juggling their schedule. However, the online reservation system isn’t just limited to hospitals. Doctors, dentists, or other practices that takes appointments can benefit.