As a part of our New Patient Journey series, we talked about how patients find their doctors. Now we’d like to expand on that by talking about how they take the next step – booking appointments.
The way patients find their doctors has improved, and so has the way they book appointments. Earlier, patients had search for a clinic’s number from various sources. Sometimes the numbers might be outdated, or it would take too long to find one. If they couldn’t get the phone number, they would just have to walk-in, hoping the waiting room is not too crowded and wait until they doctor would be ready to see them. Both these scenarios came with an unreasonable amount of wait time.
Through the new patient journey of appointment booking, we sought to reduce the time patients spend in the waiting room. With Practo, once a patient has chosen the doctor based on their convenience and requirements, they have two options for booking an appointment.
Once a patient has zeroed in on their doctor, they can book an instantly confirmed appointment with the doctor if the Doctor is a Practo Ray or a Ray Express user. Once they click on the Instant Book Appointment button, they’ll be able to see the doctor’s appointment slots. Available slots are marked in green, and the other ones are grayed out.
Once a patient chooses a convenient slot, we take the patient’s contact details to verify that they are a genuine patient. Once the appointment is confirmed, the patient gets a confirmation message, will all their appointment details.
The appointment gets automatically updated in the clinic’s calendar. If the doctor wants to change the appointment timings, he can do so from the Ray Calendar, and the patient automatically gets a notification regarding the change.
The emphasis is on convenience, for both the doctor and the patient, through effective communication.
The other appointment booking flow is Practo Direct. For clinics without the Instant booking facility, patients can directly call the clinic through Practo’s telephony channel, after filling in their contact details.
The patient can then coordinate with the clinic, and book an appointment by the end of the call. It’s the next best thing to booking an Instant appointment.
We realised that convenience is an important factor for patients while booking regular appointments, and that’s why we have these systems in place. And patients seem to agree too. In November ’14, we had 27,000+ Instant appointments booked and 25,000+ calls being placed. So if you haven’t already gotten yourself listed on practo.com, now would be a great time to do it.