The healthcare system needs to offer more online appointment scheduling to best serve patients, argues a report (PDF) from consultancy Accenture.
The average time for a patient to complete an appointment on the phone at present is 8.1 minutes. They experience transfers 63% of the time, Accenture's research shows. Both metrics are below other industries' standards, the report notes.
An in-house scheduling tool can keep patients in-system, while integrating with the other parts of the patient experience, reducing check-in time and other hassles of the healthcare system, it contends.
As a result, by 2019, Accenture anticipates that 66% of health systems will offer online self-scheduling, with 64% of patients taking advantage of that capability. That will allow health systems to reduce call center and other resources devoted to scheduling, redirecting $3.2 billion in value nationwide. Additionally, that will allow health systems to offer last-minute appointments and thereby reduce excess capacity.
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