Online Scheduling

Key Principles in Patient Scheduling Workflow

Key Principles in Patient Scheduling Workflow

11 Jan 2022
5 min

If your medical practice is still using a manual patient scheduling workflow, it's time for an upgrade.

Here are five reasons why your current patient scheduling workflow is falling short.

You're Relying on Paper Faxes

In today's digital world, there's no excuse for relying on paper faxes to schedule patients. Not only is this process time-consuming, it's also prone to errors. Faxes can get lost or misdirected, and critical information can be missed if they're not properly sorted and organized.

You're Manually Inputting Data

Manual data entry is one of the biggest bottlenecks for medical practices. When you input data manually, it's easy to make mistakes that could have a major impact on patient care.

You're Not Integrating With Your EHR

If your scheduling workflow isn't integrated with your EHR, you're missing out on a major opportunity to improve efficiency. By integrating your scheduling and EHR systems, you can automate many of the tasks that are currently done manually, such as sending appointment reminders and collecting patient information.

You're Not Using Online Scheduling

Online scheduling is a convenient way for patients to schedule their own appointments, and it can save your staff a significant amount of time. If your practice doesn't offer online scheduling, you're likely losing patients to competitors who do.

You're Not Using Appointment Reminders

Appointment reminders are a simple, yet effective way to reduce no-shows. By sending reminders via text, email, or even postcards, you can help ensure that patients don't forget about their appointments.

By making a few simple changes to your scheduling workflow, you can improve efficiency, reduce errors, and provide a better experience for your patients.

Incorporating Technology Into Your Scheduling System

When it comes to scheduling, technology can be a huge help. An online scheduler can save you time and money while also providing your patients with a convenient way to schedule their appointments.

Here are some ways that incorporating an online scheduler into your system can benefit both you and your patients.

1. Saves Time

With an online scheduler, gone are the days of having to play phone tag with patients in order to schedule an appointment. Patients can simply log onto the website or app and choose an available time slot that works for them.

This frees up your time so that you can focus on seeing patients instead of spending hours on the phone trying to coordinate schedules.

2. Saves Money

Incorporating an online scheduler into your practice can also save you money in the long run by reducing no-shows.

When people have to make a conscious effort to schedule their own appointments, they're more likely to remember and show up for said appointments as opposed to forgetting because someone else scheduled it for them.

In addition, many online scheduling systems allow you to send automatic reminders prior to the appointment, further reducing the chances of a no-show.

3. Offers Convenience

Let's face it - we live in a fast-paced world and people are always on the go. An online scheduler allows patients to schedule their appointments at their convenience, without having to work around your availability.

This is especially beneficial for those who have busy schedules or who live far away from your practice.

Key Takeaway: An online scheduler can save you time and money while also providing your patients with a convenient way to schedule their appointments.

Further Reading:

Managing Cancellations and No-shows

When it comes to managing cancellations and no-shows, there are a few key things to keep in mind.

First, try to be as flexible as possible when rescheduling appointments.

Second, make sure you have a clear cancellation policy in place so that patients understand the consequences of canceling or not showing up for an appointment.

Finally, don't hesitate to follow up with patients who do cancel or miss an appointment - a simple phone call can go a long way in preventing future issues.

Tips for Optimizing Patient Scheduling Workflows

The patient scheduling process can be a complex and time-consuming task for any healthcare organization - large or small. But there are ways to optimize the workflow and make it more efficient.

Here are some tips.

1. Establish a Clear and Concise Scheduling Process

This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to booking appointments, managing cancellations, etc.

2. Utilize Technology to Streamline the Scheduling Process

There are many great software solutions out there that can automate tasks like appointment reminders, waiting list management, etc.

3. Manage Cancellations and No-shows Effectively

Have a strict cancellation policy in place so that last-minute cancellations don't throw off your whole day's schedule.

A poster showing an easy guide for scheduling patients effectively
(Easy Guide for Scheduling Patients Effectively)

FAQs About Patient Scheduling Workflow

How do you do patient scheduling?

  • Schedule appointments in consecutive blocks.
  • Implement an appointment reminder system.
  • Use a patient waiting list to fill in late cancellations or no-shows.
  • Consider whether care needs to happen in person.
  • Collect data.

What is the most efficient scheduling method of patient appointments?

Scheduling your appointments backward from midday to early morning and forward from lunchtime to late afternoon helps to maximize productivity.

How do you optimize patient scheduling?

There are a few ways to optimize patient scheduling:

  • Utilize patient self-scheduling.
  • Prioritize appointments.
  • Use midday as a starting point.
  • Create a waiting list.
  • Confirm with text or email.

Further Reading:


When it comes to scheduling patients, efficiency is key. The goal of every patient scheduling workflow is to get patients in and out as quickly and smoothly as possible.

If you have open slots throughout the day, consider using them for staff meetings or other productive activities. Empty slots can lead to wasted time, so it’s best to avoid them if possible.

Another helpful tip is to implement patient self-scheduling. This can save a lot of time and hassle for both patients and staff. Online scheduling is convenient and easy to use, and it allows patients to choose a time that works best for them.

Upvio is the leading provider of scheduling and telemedicine software for teams large and small. We provide a complete suite of tools to help you manage your practice, including online appointment booking, patient management, billing, and more. Our team of experts can help you customize our software to fit your specific needs and maximize efficiency in your practice.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you streamline your workflow and improve patient care!

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