The digital age presents new challenges for therapists who are trying to incorporate the advancement of technology into their private practice while preserving the privacy of the people they face. Choosing the possibility of offering online programming, for example, may be a dilemma for many therapists. Many of your customers prefer the ease and simplicity of electronic programming, but if you are concerned about privacy and potential HIPAA breaches, you may be hesitant to offer this tool.
Since the programming software you choose is safe and compatible with HIPAA, electronic programming can have many advantages. Electronic programming tools allow users to schedule treatment sessions online. Depending on the type of software used, they can also fill forms and pay for sessions on the internet. This can make the choice to go to treatment – which can be difficult or even stressful – much easier.
A review of 2017 published in Journal of Medical Internet Research looked at the benefits and barriers to integrating web-based programming. He found that practices that used electronic appointment scheduling often had more satisfied patients and fewer patients who did not appear for an appointment. According to this review, more and more practices are starting to use Internet programming software.
Electronic scheduling is not just convenient for your customers. It can offer many benefits to you and help your private practice to succeed.
1. Provides a good return on investment
Quality appointment programming services, such as those that are HIPAA-compliant, are usually not free of charge. Prices range from $ 30-50 per month, although some services offer discounts with an annual payment or cost slightly smaller if you choose fewer features.
If the cost is the only factor that keeps you back, think about how much you're charged per session. Chances are, your fee is higher than the monthly cost of the electronic programming service. If you offer online programming, you will still have a new customer, the software has already paid for itself and then some, since you will probably see this customer more than once a month.
If you offer online programming, you will still have a new customer, the software has already paid for itself and then some, since you will probably see this customer more than once a month.
You will also spend less time answering your phone by turning an appointment book and returning messages from customers. This is the time you could use to schedule more sessions of treatments each week, continue continuing education or do anything else.
2. Saving time
Using an online programming service, we save you from having to call people back to schedule treatment sessions. Even if you are already using email for this, you may still be sending out emails back and forth by trying to sort in an hour that works for you and your customer. With online programming, users can easily see your sessions and choose the time that suits them best.
It also helps you avoid overbooking. This is not likely to occur frequently, but errors occur. If you are tracking your sessions on an appointment programmer but note a note during a phone call and forget to transfer it later to your developer, you could end up planning two clients for the same session. Using programming software can prevent this from happening.
3. Leaves people to hold meetings outside of opening hours
Scheduling appointments on the phone can be difficult and sometimes frustrating. You may end up going back and forth with your customers at time intervals or playing a phone tag when none of you are available at the same time.
If you use an online programming service, customers can go online night before they go to work or whenever they have a few minutes to see their schedule and make an appointment. This can reduce subsequent time changes or even cancellations. If the customer has a change in his personal timetable, he can use the software to reschedule his appointment later.
4. Decreases cancellations
Most people have many things in their lives at all times, and sometimes it is difficult to keep track of everything. Customers can plan their next meeting personally, but they will forget it next week. They could just be busy and lose time.
Electronic programming software helps prevent this by sending reminders to customers one or two days in advance. This reminder can prevent last minute cancellation. Even if they can no longer do their scheduled appointment, they can connect to the internet and plan again without having to come in contact with you.
5. It's easy for customers to reach you
This can be perceived as making online dating customers spend less time communicating with you. Electronic scheduling allows customers to access your services more easily. Some people dislike talking on the phone in general, and people experiencing emotional difficulties or some mental health issues may have even more difficult time to find. Many people may also feel more comfortable describing mental health symptoms or feelings through an online platform rather than by phone. Removing the need for a phone conversation may make it more likely that people seeking help will choose to meet with you.
Removing the need for a phone conversation may make it more likely that people seeking help will choose to meet with you.
Online programming also allows people to reach you quickly. If you choose to offer sessions of the same day or the next day, electronic scheduling is one way the customer can easily make those last minute meetings if he opens his schedule.
6. Tells you about customer expectations
Technology is changing rapidly. You may feel like you're used to signing in by email. Though tackling new technology, such as electronic programming software, may seem like not worth it to some, a private practice is a business. As a business owner, you want to provide the best possible service to your customers.
Some customers may not want to make phone or email appointments, but many of them may prefer internet programming. Most are likely to prefer the choice that allows them to make appointments easily in their leisure time. Customers who are struggling to communicate with you or schedule appointments in a timely fashion can choose to see a healer with better availability – or easier access to programming options.
Best choices for Online Programming
Advances in technology make it possible to optimize many business processes. However, some risk measure may accompany certain technological developments, especially for health care workers and other professionals, who need to think about the privacy of the people they treat and comply with all the HIPAA requirements.
When choosing the programming software, take some time to check the security options and make sure the software is HIPAA compliant. A great web appointment programmer is FrontDesk, which is currently available to GoodTherapy members.
With care and attention, it's possible to incorporate new technology, such as e-planning, into your treatment practice and create a better experience for you and your customers.
For over a decade, GoodTherapy has supported mental health professionals in developing their practices, achieving their goals and improving digital marketing. On average, we found that GoodTherapy members can produce more than 4 to 1 return on investment per year! Click here to register or learn more.
- Giannulli, T. (2014, October 7). Four reasons to use online medical appointment scheduling. Practical doctors, 24. Retrieved from http://www.physicianspractice.com/technology/four-reasons-use-online-medical-appointment- scheduler
- Compliance with HIPAA. (n.d.). Acid programming. Retrieved from https://help.acuityscheduling.com/hc/en-us/articles/218724778-HIPAA-Compliance
- Programming compatible with HIPAA that puts patients first. (n.d.). AppointmentPlus. Retrieved from https://www.appointmentplus.com/solutions/healthcare
- The benefits of online appointment scheduling in the medical, health and wellness industries. (2012). AppointmentPlus. Retrieved from https://www.appointmentplus.com/wp-content/themes/appointmentplus-theme/dist/img/pdf/online-appointment-scheduling-benefits-to-medical-healthcare-wellness.pdf
- Zhao, P., Yoo, I., Lavoie, J., Lavoie, B. J. & Simoes, E. (2017). Web-based medical appointment systems: A systematic review. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 19(4). two: 10.2196 / jmir.6747
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