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Taking the Pain Out of Your Hospital’s Complex Medical Scheduling

If you’re in charge of medical scheduling for a hospital or medical center, you know that this responsibility is inherently complex. The more physicians and medical specialists you represent, the more complicated the scheduling becomes.

Physicians within a hospital or other disperse urgent care centers have individual preferences for seeing patients. That, in a nutshell, is the crux of the complexity of medical scheduling.

Much of today’s medical scheduling software fails to accommodate such individual preferences. The software is limited, hard to use, or can’t be updated easily. This leads to a lack of confidence in the software, causing physicians to depend heavily on one or two schedulers – and not the system. Yet, without reliable medical scheduling software, inefficiencies abound, mistakes can be made, and havoc ensues. It’s stressful for everyone.

These are the four specific pain points caused by inadequate medical scheduling systems used in a hospital setting:

#1 Lack of confidence
When doctors make changes to their individual preferences concerning patient appointments, they’re not confident that these changes will make it into the system or that they’ll be communicated accurately with the entire scheduling staff. Many prefer to tell their own scheduler in person, rather than have changes entered into the system.

#2 Lack of flexibility

Doctors need the flexibility to set their own appointment preferences and to change these as needed. For example, some doctors prefer to limit the number of physical exams on certain days, but most scheduling systems aren’t updated often enough to incorporate these changes. Medical scheduling software needs agility. Scheduling rules need to be housed in the software. Doctors should be able to change their minds and have these changes communicated quickly and accurately with all schedulers.

#3 Losing productivity
Doctors are often tightly booked, and rather than risk having changes to their appointment protocol miscommunicated, they prefer to walk down the hall to hand deliver them to an individual scheduler. It’s inefficient. Likewise, if patients call a scheduler with questions or symptoms with which a scheduler’s unfamiliar, physicians must be consulted. Productivity suffers.

#4 Lack of information
Medical schedulers need access to key information. For example, standardized scheduling protocols would help them perform their duties, and these can be incorporated into medical scheduling software. Physicians can enter their personal appointment preferences into the software as well, ensuring real-time updates and accuracy.

Upon closer look, it’s not the scheduling software that is to blame, but the disparate and complex processes. Scheduling software lets users hard code doctors’ preferences so that every scheduler – not just a doctor’s preferred scheduler – can see them but having to read and understand these preferences takes time and can cause errors. Panviva solves the guidance and procedural challenge. We’d be happy to show you how!

Stephen Pappas

With more than 20 years experience in enterprise software sales and operations, Stephen Pappas manages all aspects of Panviva’s North American operations. He previously served as a Director of International Sales with Harte-Hanks Trillium Software, where he took their enterprise data management offering to 54 countries. Other roles have included Executive Vice President of a SaaS software start-up and Director of Sales and Business Development at PageFlex.

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