Is managing your calendar one of the main causes of stress for you? Are you trying to have a life between “making your numbers” and professional satisfaction? We definitely understand and after a close collaboration with several dietitians and nutritionists, we came to the conclusion that an appointment management software can help save time, energy and money, as well as improve the results of any RD’s work.
While the term itself—appointment management system—might sound intimidating and insufficient to fix all the issues an RD faces at work, this type of software is simple to use and has many benefits (especially if it is part of a more complex program especially designed for RDs and nutritionists). Usually, an appointment management software can help dietitians schedule patient visits easier, keep track of changes in the calendar, send reminders to patients in order to avoid no-shows, avoid overlaps, set recurring visits, make online payments for a visit, class or other services, and more. Below, we detailed some of these aspects in an attempt to convince you that you can improve your practice and organize your work in a way that will help build a stronger reputation and contribute to a better work-life balance by using an appointment management system.
1. Save time
You know it. The week, Monday through Friday, is a chaos. It goes by so fast and you don’t even manage to tick everything on your “to do” list for the week. This alone adds more stress to the work week you haven’t even started yet. Are you fantasizing on the days you won’t have any more busy schedules? An appointment management system can help you keep track of all your appointment no matter where you are. All you need is an internet connection. You can even allow patients to make appointments online, so that they fill in the empty slots they find more convenient. They can manage their own appointment and the system will make sure to remind them, via e-mail or SMS, once they need to come in for a visit. This can save you some calls and effort. You can also avoid overlaps and no-shows.
2. Avoid no-shows
Speaking of no-shows, this has got to be the most annoying thing that can happen. You waste time, money and, in some cases, you even lose a client. While this can happen when something unexpected comes up and the patient isn’t able to make it to the appointment, there are also situations when he/she simply forgets about it. A professional appointment management system also sends reminders to patients about the time and date they are supposed to see you.
3. Expand your patient pool
In the world we live in, as you know, it’s essential to have an online presence. An updated website or social media accounts are the minimum required to be taken into account by Millennials, the largest demographic sector at the moment. However, to truly win them over, you need to turn to digital tools that will make your job easier and their experience pleasant. Let’s not forget about the fact that they can post online reviews, which weigh heavily in the eyes of your future or even current clients. An appointment managements system that allows clients to schedule their visit and sends them e-mail or SMS reminders is a great start to becoming a modern practice.
4. Get ready to use other programs
Like we said, this can be the best way to start modernizing your practice and your services. Having a website is not enough anymore. Having an online platform that can help you store all your client files, manage your appointments, create meal plans, get metrics or provide online payment for your clients—who could also have a personal account that would include data on their evolution, recommendations from you, meal plans, results, recurring visits and more—will really set the bar for your competition. So, an appointment management system can really help you make this transition.
Appointment management system—where do I get it and how much does it cost?
If you are still wondering about it, know that there are quite a few online appointment management systems that can help you with all of the above. Most of them are subscription-based and the price is somewhere between $20 and $50/month, depending of the features you are looking for. We would recommend getting an all-in-one management system that will help you with appointments, as well as patients charts, metrics and more. These are more advantageous from a what-am-I-getting-for-that-price perspective. Also, almost all of them offer a free trial, which should help you make up your mind.