It is no question that healthcare is changing thanks to adopting digital tools. In our previous posts, we discussed how hospitals can benefit from making mobile apps, how promising telemedicine app development is, and how drug delivery apps work. Customer demand for faster and more convenient services drive digital healthcare solutions.
But at the bottom of this demand, we find a simple function of booking doctor appointments – an opportunity every modern clinic or individual practitioner should embrace. Nearly half of respondents in a PatientPop survey prefer online appointment scheduling, with only 17 per cent admit having such an option. Another survey shows that almost 70 per cent of Americans are likely to book a doctor visit online if given several options.
With the majority of patients seeking for online scheduling, there are many ways in which it makes sense to develop a doctor appointment app. It can be an added functionality in a hospital app or a telehealth app or a separate program for managing bookings alone. Let’s see how healthcare providers implement online booking systems and what a doctor appointment app should include.
Given an opportunity to book appointments online, patients no longer receive confirmatory calls and have hassle-free possibility to amend, reschedule, or cancel their visits. With an app, they can manage the schedule anywhere at any time and set notifications that won’t let them miss doctor appointments.
For healthcare facilities, appointment booking software solves many pain points, such as:
There are many third-party software solutions implemented by healthcare providers and designed for both individuals and medical teams. Scheduling functionality is often added in a simple form of a WordPress plugin as an addition to the clinic’s website. It doesn’t offer much customization and tools for patient engagement.
There are also many complex systems which sell different versions of their software. On top of online calendars, they may offer SMS and emails, individual customer record forms or other possibilities of customization at an added cost. Some of them are crafted specifically for healthcare, while others can be tailored to various industries. Here are some examples of booking software used by doctors and clinics:
Apart from a patient-facing app that allows online bookings, hospitals need employee scheduling systems which can be synchronised with patient appointments. Shiftboard and Humanity are examples of companies that sell employee scheduling software. There also are separate solutions for medical secretaries and medical sales representatives.
Shiftboard. Source: APKPure
While there are many ready-to-use medical appointment scheduling templates, sometimes, it makes sense to build custom software.
In a Shiftboard case study, a health screenings company explains how they’ve adopted Shiftboard instead of going for expensive development and maintenance of a custom app.
They needed to transform the booking process from multiple spreadsheets to real-time scheduling with unlimited clients, employees, and locations.
Using pre-defined functions of such software services can truly work for healthcare professionals and clinics that want nothing more than convenient online scheduling. But when it comes to different types of staff calendars, integrating chatting options and insurance cards, or making individual customer forms and reminders, it’s best to put your project in hands of experienced developers.
In our post on hospital app development, we discussed why it’s better for healthcare institutions to make their own apps from scratch: custom development can consider particular users and workflow patterns and allow for powerful integrations with other services. Custom HIPAA-compliant scheduling software, designed in cooperation with end-users, will be tailored to their very specific needs.
Let’s explore the essential features of a doctor appointment app accessed by three types of users: patients, practitioners, and clinic administrators.
A patient’s version should include:
Calendar in HotDoc, a doctor appointment app in Australia. Source: APKPure
DrCitas. Source: App Advice
Doctors should have the same features including personal profiles, calendar, appointments management, and notifications. Chat and document exchange can be additional functions in a healthcare scheduling app.
Doctor profile in the Practo app. Source: Practo
Doctor profile in the iMEDHealth app. Source: iMEDHealth
Calendar in DocPulse Connect. Source: Apple App Store
The admin panel of a hospital appointment app needs the following:
LiveHealth. Source: LiveHealth
Same-day scheduling in the Solv app. Source: MobiHealthNews
If you decide on custom development, there are still some third-party services you might want to integrate into an app. Here are a few ideas on additional technologies for a patient appointment app:
SMS sent by the DoctorConnect app. Source: DoctorConnect
Keep in mind several important guidelines while making an appointment app for doctors or clinics:
Don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your healthcare app project. At MadAppGang we’ve been developing mobile solutions for a variety of industries. You can check what types of healthcare apps we can build here.
22 October 2020
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