Online Scheduling

Types of Medical Appointment Scheduling for Your Office

Types of Medical Appointment Scheduling for Your Office

11 Jan 2022
5 min

If your medical center is struggling to keep up with patient demand, maybe it's time to explore the different types of medical appointment scheduling systems. An effective scheduling system can help your facility improve efficiency, reduce cancellations, and minimize operating costs.

There are many different types of medical appointment scheduling systems available, so it's important to choose one that best fits your needs.

Here are some of the most popular types of medical appointment scheduling systems.

Online Scheduling

One of the most popular types of medical appointment scheduling systems is online scheduling. Online scheduling allows patients to book appointments online 24/7. This can be a convenient option for patients who have busy schedules or who live far from your medical center.

Call Center Scheduling

Another popular type of medical appointment scheduling system is call center scheduling. Call center scheduling allows patients to book appointments by calling a centralized call center. This can be a good option for patients who prefer to speak to a live person when scheduling an appointment.

Automated Scheduling

Automated scheduling systems are becoming increasingly popular in the medical world. Automated scheduling systems allow patients to book appointments through an automated system, such as a kiosk or smartphone app. This can be a convenient option for patients who are comfortable using technology

When selecting from the different types of medical appointment scheduling systems, look for one that is easy to learn and meets the needs of your medical center.

Types of Medical Appointment Scheduling

One of the many frustrations that patients encounter is having to call during business hours, hoping someone answers the phone to schedule an appointment.

This type of scheduling is called traditional appointment scheduling and it can be very inconvenient for patients, especially if they are trying to reach a doctor outside of normal business hours.

One of the biggest drawbacks of this system is that it often leads to longer wait times for appointments since patients have to work around the schedules of both the doctor's office and whoever happens to answer the phone.

(How to Schedule Patient Appointments)

Open-Access Scheduling

One of the popular types of medical appointment scheduling is called open access scheduling which allows patients to see providers without having to schedule an appointment in advance. This can help increase access to care, especially for those who may need to see a doctor right away.

One advantage of open-access scheduling is that it can help reduce missed appointments. When people are able to just show up for their appointment without having to schedule ahead of time, they are less likely to forget or cancel altogether. This can save both the provider and patient time and money.

Open access scheduling also caters to vulnerable populations who may not be able to schedule an appointment far in advance or miss work/childcare obligations if they had to wait more than a day or two for an opening.

Allowing someone to just walk in for services means they're more likely to receive the care they need when they need it instead of putting it off until it's too late.

Key Takeaway: Open-access scheduling can help reduce missed appointments and increase access to care.

Advance Access Scheduling

Most doctors' offices operate on a first-come, first-served basis, which can lead to long queues at clinics.

However, there is another type of appointment scheduling that allows patients to schedule appointments in advance. This method is called advance access scheduling.

Advance access scheduling can be helpful for patients who want to schedule an appointment around their busy schedules.

With this type of scheduling, patients can call ahead and make an appointment for a specific date and time. They will then be seen by the doctor at that appointed time, without having to wait.

There are some drawbacks to advance access scheduling, however.

For example, if you need to see a certain doctor but he or she is only available at times that don't work with your schedule, you may not be able to use this type of schedule.

Also, if you have an emergency situation arise, you will likely have to get in line like everyone else.

Nevertheless, for non-emergency situations, advance access scheduling can save a lot of frustration and wasted time.

Key Takeaway: Advance access scheduling allows patients to schedule doctors' appointments in advance, which can save time and frustration.

Electronic Medical Record-Based Appointment Scheduling

Electronic medical record-based appointment scheduling is a system that uses data from the patient's medical record to help plan and schedule appointment times. And because all of the relevant information is already stored in one place, it can help save time for both patients and doctors.

There are many benefits to using an electronic medical record-based system for scheduling appointments.

For example, it can help ensure that patients see their preferred doctor or specialist more often.

It can also allow patients to book follow-up appointments before they leave the office after their initial visit - meaning they're less likely to forget or put off making another appointment down the road.

Additionally, this type of system makes canceling or rescheduling much simpler since everything is already tracked electronically.

Key Takeaway: An electronic medical record-based appointment scheduling system can help streamline the process for both patients and doctors.

Patient Portal-Based Appointment

With a patient portal, patients can often view available appointments and schedule or request appointments directly through the portal. This is convenient for both patients and practices alike, as it allows patients to easily book appointments around their schedules without having to call the practice during business hours.

And since everything is done electronically, there's no risk of lost paperwork or miscommunication!

If your medical practice offers a patient portal, scheduling appointments through the portal is a great way to save time and ensure that everything is done correctly.


There are many different types of medical appointment scheduling, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The type that is best for your practice will depend on your patient population and the way you want to run your business.

Upvio provides scheduling and telemedicine software for teams of all sizes. Our software is designed to help you manage your appointments and keep your patients connected. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you streamline your appointment process. Or try it for FREE!

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