Office automation tools like online scheduling, automated appointment reminders, and patient satisfaction software allow staff to do more in less time.
Your front office staff has important jobs. Everything from scheduling patient appointments to creating social media content falls on them, but there are only so many hours in the day.
Office automation tools can be a game-changer because they allow your staff to do more in less time. Here’s a look at a few different office automation systems that can help them be more productive.
Office automation tools that increase efficiency
1. Online scheduling
Requiring patients to call your office to make an appointment is inconvenient for everyone. Your front office staff has to constantly stop what they’re doing to answer the phone, and patients can only schedule appointments when your practice is open.
Despite the prevalence of online scheduling, 50 percent of patients are still booking appointments by phone, according to a survey conducted by GetApp. This isn’t something many are doing by choice, as 56.4 percent feel frustrated when they’re put on hold and inconvenienced by the ability to only make appointments during office hours.
Everyone wins when you offer an office automation system to take care of online scheduling. Your staff can stop being interrupted by constant phone calls, and patients can book available appointments on a 24/7 basis.
2. Automated appointment reminders
Nearly all healthcare organizations (88 percent) send automated appointment reminders to patients, according to the Medical Group Management Association (MGMA). Those that have an office automation system set up to send appointment reminders noted several benefits, including more time for staff, higher revenue, and better appointment utilization.
As a busy doctor, you see a lot of patients each day. This means your front office staff is spending much of the prior day making appointment reminder calls.
Investing in automated appointment reminder software completely eliminates this task. Implementing this form of office automation allows them to focus more time on activities that truly require a human touch. Not only will productivity soar, but patient satisfaction rates will also rise because your front office staff will have more time to focus on their unique needs.
3. Automated patient satisfaction surveys
Most medical organizations (82 percent) send patient satisfaction surveys, according to MGMA. The vast majority (86 percent) use them to measure organizational performance.
These evaluations are a powerful tool, but sending them manually is time-consuming. Patient satisfaction survey software ensures a perfectly-timed HIPAA-compliant survey is sent, without burdening your staff. Using office automation software to send a patient satisfaction survey makes sense because doing it manually offers no benefits.
Busy front office staff might also be forced to put this task on the backburner, so automating it can help you garner more responses. The more feedback you get, the better you’re able to serve your patient base.
Chances are, current and prospective patients call your office with many of the same questions. Responding to these inquiries likely takes up a lot of time that could be better spent elsewhere.
One of the most innovative office automation tools, chatbots can be programmed to converse with patients and respond to commonly asked questions. This type of office automation reduces the volume of calls your front office staff receives and allows patients to have questions answered at their convenience.
One-third of people (35 percent) said they would use a chatbot to resolve a complaint, and the same percentage said they would use it to get detailed answers or explanations, according to The 2018 State of Chatbots Report. Therefore, feel confident your patient base would take full advantage of it.
5. Social media automation
Your practice likely has a presence on at least one social media network, and managing it is a time commitment. Consequently, 85 percent of businesses use third-party tools to manage their social media marketing, according to Buffer.
Social media management requires regular attention — i.e. responding to comments in a timely manner — but every task doesn’t need to be completed manually. Office automation tools allow content to be scheduled in advance, so your front office staff doesn’t constantly have to stop what they’re doing to create posts.
Automating social media accounts also makes it easier to manage them because feeds can be viewed on one interface. This saves time because employees don’t have to keep logging into different accounts to monitor them.
If you’re not already using office automation tools, it’s time to get on board. These software programs are designed to boost productivity, so your front office staff can accomplish more each day, without sacrificing quality.
Is your office staff overworked? See the blog post “3 signs your front office staff is burnt out — and how to help” for ideas on how to identify and lessen staff burnout.