As India embarks into an era of tech-startups mushrooming every other day, there has been an unprecedented shift in the partnering of technology with the common man. Of late, health tech startups have gained traction in the Indian Diaspora and online appointment scheduling system is at the center stage.
Everyone knows that doctor’s appointments can be very troublesome. Whether it is waiting in the office or simply booking an appointment, it seems like things can be overly troublesome. However, there is a wonderful new service- Online Appointment system that is available to take the hassle out of scheduling appointments.Patients have put pressure on health systems after growing accustomed to doing everything online--from paying bills, shopping or booking a dinner reservation. We all know that feeling of frustration as we hear the automated voice telling you you’re on hold, or the irritating music coming from the phone instead of a human voice

Some doctors do follow these patterns but the “no appointment” system is more common. Patients simply form a queue in the waiting room hours before the doctor’s arrival, hoping that the doctor will see them according to the first-come first-served rule. Waiting times of three to four hours are not unusual and the patient is often so aware of the many others waiting to see the doctor that she/he does not grumble when dismissed with a brief, superficial exam and perfunctory advice.

As an example, let’s look at a large medical facility that typically schedules approximately 100 appointments daily. Each appointment call is fielded by an administrative support staffer, who spends an average of four minutes on the phone. This equates to an average of 400 minutes—or almost seven hours—of time spend each day just to booking appointments over the phone

Online Appointment scheduling- AIIMS- Make in India:-

Now, patients visiting the All India Institute of Medical Sciences can fix appointments with doctors over phone. The appointments will be done by an automated voice response system. If the call is made from a cellphone, you will receive an SMS, confirming the appointment

Initial assessments have, however, shown that the fears were misplaced. “We have succeeded in cutting the crowd outside the OPD by half.our analysis shows that only about 50 patients are waiting outside the hospital during peak hours — a near impossibility for AIIMS. The trend of patients collecting since wee hours — 2-3 am — has been controlled,” Dr. Agrawal said.
There is still a 30-40 per cent drop-out rate in scheduled appointments. Every department has increased its patient intake by 150 per cent. So the medicine department, which saw 500 patients a day, is now seeing 750. If patients with appointments drop out, we take spot appointments,” a doctor in AIIMS said.

Clients can see Physician real-time calendar availability, self-select the time that works best for them, and easily book (and pay for!) their own appointments in advance, sparing you 89% of current headaches, mix-ups & grunts of frustration.

Benefits of Online Scheduling:-

1. The average amount of time it takes for a patient to complete a scheduling call is 8.1 minutes. By decreasing this time, healthcare call centers can reallocate their resources to increase productivity and efficiency.

2. By making general appointment scheduling available online, health systems can reduce excess capacity, expand scheduling hours and better allow for last minute appointments. The capability also provides healthcare transparency and patient control, both of which improve trust, loyalty and patient satisfaction.

3. It increases patient engagement by making it easier for them to communicate with their health system.

One of the biggest reasons that online appointment scheduling is getting popular day by day is that it helps the patient to make the appointment to their doctor, clinic or hospital in an conveniently. Thus a proper scheduling system has to be developed by considering all the above factors which will increase patient satisfaction, which in turn increases profit. An online scheduling system allows individuals to conveniently and securely book their appointments online. Compared to the usual queuing method, the web-based appointment system could significantly increase patient's satisfaction with registration and reduce total waiting time effectively.