Report: Online Appointment Scheduling Tools on the Rise | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Report: Online Appointment Scheduling Tools on the Rise

December 11, 2014
by Gabriel Perna
| Reprints
Two out of three patients will be booking medical appointments online by the year 2019, according to a new report released by the New York-based research firm, Accenture. 
 
The research firm predicts that in five years, 66 percent of US health systems will offer online scheduling and 64 percent of patients will be using those services. Currently, Accenture says that online self scheduling services are top heavy. Roughly 40 percent of the top 100 US health systems are offering the services compared to only 10 percent from the rest.
 
The researchers who authored the report claim that those who use the services will be able to divert most of their appointment volume. Nearly 40 percent of all appointments—or 986 million—will be booked online in 2019. This will give health systems the potential to reallocate as much as $3.2 billion in scheduler capacity in 2019 alone, Accenture predicts. 
 
The convenience factor is driving the wave of online appointment scheduling. Accenture says it takes one minute to schedule an appointment online vs. eight minutes to do it by phone. With this in mind, those who don’t adopt online appointment scheduling services will be left in the dust, Accenture says.
 
“Just as consumers use online tools to book restaurant reservations or request a cab, patients want the same experience in self-booking a doctor’s appointment,” Dipak Patel, managing director of Accenture’s patient access solutions, said in a statement. “Evidence also shows health systems can use self-scheduling tools to boost appointment capacity, reduce costs and/or increase productivity.”
 
Accenture predicts a sophistication of scheduling systems, including integration with the electronic medical record (EMR). This, the company says, will provide more of a seamless experience for the patient. 
 
Topics

News

Former Health IT Head in San Diego County Charged with Defrauding Provider out of $800K

The ex-health IT director at North County Health Services, a San Diego County-based healthcare service provider, has been charged with spearheading fraudulent operations that cost the organization $800,000.

Allscripts Touts 1 Billion API Shares in 2017

Officials from Chicago-based health IT vendor Allscripts have attested that the company has reached a new milestone— one billion application programming interface (API) data exchange transactions in 2017.

Dignity Health, CHI Merging to Form New Catholic Health System

Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), based in Englewood, Colorado, and San Francisco-based Dignity Health officially announced they are merging and have signed a definitive agreement to combine ministries and create a new, nonprofit Catholic health system.

HHS Announces Winning Solutions in Opioid Code-a-Thon

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) hosted this week a first-of-its-kind two-day Code-a-Thon to use data and technology to develop new solutions to address the opioid epidemic.

In GAO Report, More Concern over VA VistA Modernization Project

A recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report is calling into question the more than $1 billion that has been spent to modernize the Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) health IT system.

Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Aimed at Improving Medicare ACO Program

U.S. Representatives Peter Welch (D-VT) and Rep. Diane Black (R-TN) have introduced H.R. 4580, the ACO Improvement Act of 2017 that makes changes to the Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) program.