Online Booking Systems: Do They Make a Difference?

author

Jack Peploe
Veterinary IT Expert
May 10, 2022

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In recent years, demand for veterinary consultations has increased, and the onslaught of the pandemic has further intensified this trend. Fortunately, advancements in technology ensure it is no longer necessary for patrons to be physically present to obtain an appointment; online scheduling takes care of that.

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Clients expect a flawless online experience when visiting a veterinarian's clinic, including a well-designed website and an online booking system.

This article will provide a high-level overview of how you can transform your practice by allowing your clients to make appointments online.

What is Online Veterinary Appointment Scheduling?

An online veterinary appointment scheduling system is a software program that allows clients and their pets to schedule and manage their appointments.

Ultimately, your veterinary practice will benefit from increased revenue and positive customer reviews due to implementing this system. However, you should select the veterinary appointment scheduling method that is most appropriate for your office's specific requirements to maximize the benefits.

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Main Types of Veterinary Scheduling

The following are the main types of veterinary scheduling:

Double Booking

Scheduling two patients in the same time slot is known as Double Booking. This scheduling system is adequate when two patients need the same type of diagnostic test like an electrocardiogram. Booking these patients at the same time can help your practice improve efficiencies by avoiding redundant work.

Open Booking

An open booking is one in which there is no set time for the appointment, and the patient is free to arrive at any time during that time range. This option is suitable for clinics with a low patient volume because the patient flow is unpredictable while giving patients more flexibility. However, practices with a high patient volume can easily become overwhelmed.

Time-Specified Scheduling

Stream scheduling, single booking, fixed appointment scheduling, and other terms are all used to refer to this type of schedule. This type of veterinary appointment scheduling gets used to keep the waiting time to a minimum and keep a consistent flow of patients through the door.

The length of the visit for the time-specified appointment may vary based on the reason for the appointment. It can also vary based on whether the patient is new or established. An established patient requires less processing time since their information is already in the system whereas a new patient needs to be put into the system when they arrive.

When using time-specified scheduling, it is important to remember to leave time for urgent visits to avoid an overflow and potentially upsetting a long-time customer.

Wave Scheduling

Under Wave Scheduling, scheduled appointments account for 4 to 6 people every hour, and the specialist sees them in order of their arrival.

Unfortunately, clients may be unhappy when another patient has the same appointment time, making it challenging to prevent disputes. The medical assistant may explain that patients get seen in the order they arrive with this scheduling system and that waiting time is frequently less. Therefore, you will always have a patient in line waiting for their turn.

You can also adjust the wave scheduling system to leave more time for potential changes or issues in scheduling. In this adjusted system, patients get scheduled for a set period in the first half of each hour. Therefore, the rest of the half-hour is left open for walk-ins or late arrivals. If a patient is late for an appointment or the doctor gets done with another patient, you can use this method to accommodate these patients.

The Benefits of an Online Booking Software

Before being able to arrange vet visits online, clients had to call the office to make their appointments. This way of scheduling was difficult and time-consuming for both the patients and the staff.

Fortunately, clients can now take advantage of various software and programs that make booking veterinary appointments extremely easy. You may readily connect today's online appointment and scheduling software with your clinic's website, which already includes several appointment-related features built-in. For example, Vetstoria integrates directly into your website and offers a high level of customizability so you can tailor it specifically to your scheduling needs.

Here are the main benefits of veterinary online booking systems and the difference that they make in the veterinary practice:

Online Booking Systems Save Time

Offering online booking saves your clients time and effort. Rather than calling the clinic, verifying availability, making appointments, and receiving confirmations, a single click completes all of these tasks. In addition, the staff members who would have taken the phone call from the client and manually set the appointment time would be able to use that time for something else, probably more valuable, instead.

To sum it up, online appointments save a significant amount of time for both clients and employees.

Online Booking Systems Present a Valuable Marketing Opportunity

By offering online booking, you encourage clients to visit your website. Once on your website, you can promote your specials and any extra services you offer directly to those clients.

Online Booking Systems Work 24/7

Take this scenario into consideration: a client of yours wished to schedule an appointment with your clinic. After that, he attempted to contact the clinic. However, he discovered your clinic was closed on the weekend he called. As a result, he was unable to schedule the appointment and a few days later ended up calling one of your competitors. Online scheduling of appointments, on the other hand, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year so you never face this issue again.

Online Booking Systems Make Cancellations Easier

With online booking systems, clients can cancel an appointment just as easily as they can make an appointment. This ease of cancellation helps reduce no-shows which drain your practice’s resources. Moreover, staff and practitioners can cancel appointments as well.

Online Booking Systems Offer Analytics

Online booking provides you with a wealth of information about your customers. You may find out what time of day your clients prefer to make appointments, what payment method they like the most, and what time slot they choose for their meetings — all of which are important for the betterment of the services you offer.

In search of the best online booking system, here are some you might want to consider:

Conclusion

Clients and employees alike often find it difficult to schedule veterinary appointments, which can be frustrating. Modern technology provides veterinary clinics with dependable options for dealing with such issues.

Developing and implementing a system for arranging online bookings and taking advantage of its various features provides your practice with time savings and improves the customer experience. To get started finding the perfect online booking solution for you, contact Veterinary IT Services today!

 

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