Have you considered an online booking system for your practice?
If you’re a busy psychologist, social worker, or therapist, the process of managing client appointments is one of the most important components of your day-to-day practice administration.
You may be a single practitioner who manages your own schedule, or you might have a receptionist who books appointments for your office. Either way, every professional in the field of mental health recognizes how time consuming and often inefficient the process of scheduling appointments can be.
Has the Telephone Fallen Out of Favour?
More and more practices are looking for online appointment booking options, both for their own ease of use and also because making appointments by telephone has fallen out of favour. Clients now prefer — and even demand — the ability to coordinate appointments online.
The Back and Forth Email Game
When you don’t have an online booking system, scheduling a client session can take several rounds of back and forth emails before an agreed appointment time is reached. Most practitioners already receive too many emails as it is, and calendering by email adds another level of administrative work that could be handled more effectively.
Are you Booking Ensuing Appointments at the End of Each Session?
Many therapists, psychologist, and social workers use the end of their client session to coordinate calendars and book the next appointment. This either cuts into the client’s session or eats up time that you as a practitioner could be using in other productive ways. When you have an online booking system, your patient can book the next session at their convenience.
Online appointment bookings are here to stay, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s right for your practice. Consider how an online booking system might fit into the structure and culture of your practice. Do patients want to be in direct contact with you? What are the demographics of your clients and patients? How much of your time and energy is going into booking appointments? Is your current scheduling system interrupting your work and limiting the amount of time you’re spending with clients?
Here are three reasons to consider an online appointment system.
Online Booking: 3 Considerations for your Practice
The primary benefit of an online booking system is that it reduces your, or your reception desk’s, workload. If you’re a single practitioner, online booking provides you the freedom to concentrate on your patients without hearing the phone ring during the session, and without tacking on extra time at the end of an appointment to book the next session. Overall, an online system greatly reduces administrative work.
When you reduce the mundane, time consuming task of calendar management, you and your team are more available to service the clients at your practice without interruptions. This often means being able to see more clients in a day.
Online booking increases your practice’s efficiency and releases you and your staff to be able to concentrate on other things. Your team can accomplish more in the same amount of time each day. Ultimately, when your staff is available, your patients benefit. Online booking may also increase the total number of clients that you see each day.
Client Preference & Convenience
If you’ll excuse the pun — patients have become impatient! Today’s clients and patients have come to dislike making appointments by telephone and want to be able to reach you online. People are busy and they like to be able to make appointments during off-hours. An online booking system offers them the 24/7 convenience they need.
However, there are still patients that like to pick up the phone and speak with a person, or like the intimacy of emailing their practitioner directly. For those reasons many practices choose a combination of online bookings and telephone service in order to accommodate all client preferences.
Online Booking Solutions
Once you’ve considered these factors, the next step is to explore the available tools and management systems. Owl Practice is specifically designed for Canadian therapists, social workers, and psychologists. Owl’s Online Booking feature syncs seamlessly with other time-saving and organizational features in the Owl platform that can add value to your practice. Try a demo or start your free trial now. Our knowledgeable team will be happy to walk you through our system and answer any questions that you may have.
Do you still have questions about online booking? Contact us to discuss whether or not online booking is right for your practice.