Online Medical Booking: What it means and How it Works
Online booking is becoming a trend as medical professionals and organizations start to build their own websites. Online medical booking is a type of web service that allows patients to find a doctor within a given locality and set up an appointment. It enables medical organizations and health care professionals to keep track of appointment-scheduling, provide hourly availability, and connect to a variety of patients.
Listed below are the top 3 advantages of online medical booking service for a medical organization.
- Cost Effective – It saves money and time for both the medical organization and the patient when it comes to scheduling appointments and looking for top-rated doctors, respectively.
- Convenient – It provides doctors their own schedule calendar which can be viewed by patients at any given time. Meanwhile, patients are notified of upcoming appointments via email or text; and some online medical services applications can be downloaded on mobile phones. In cases where doctors have to cancel appointments, patients are immediately notified and advised to rebook appointments.
- Safe – It facilitates private communications and efficient data transfer between appointments over the Internet. Through SSL-encryption, the communication between clients and doctors, as well as the patient’s medical information is always secured.
How Online Medical Booking Works
An online medical booking service uses a software or application that health care professionals and medical facilities can obtain or download for a nominal fee. It has a variety of built-in, editable features, such as a database of medical providers (i.e. dentists, optometrists, ENT, podiatrists, physicians, pediatricians, and psychiatrists). Once the set-up is done, the participating clinics, hospitals, or medical professional can freely edit the features of the site like customizing the texts and specifying the site’s name, wording format, and pictures for patient’s easy access.
If the hospital has its own online medical booking service on the webpage, it may require patients to register before they can access the features. Once a patient has logged in to the account, s/he can already view the doctors’ profile along with their schedules and set up an appointment. The patient can request for an appointment at any time. The online medical booking service automatically updates its database whenever the hospital’s employees are available to take appointments. The patient will know whether or not the request for an appointment is granted via a confirmation message sent through e-mail or the website’s message box.
There are also webpages that function as third-party service providers, giving 24/7 online medical booking service for patients. ZocDoc and Clinic Connect are only two of the online medical booking services that functions as independent websites accepting bookings and confirming patient appointments to the participating hospitals and clinics in their database. One of the advantages of third-party online medical service providers is that they cover various hospitals and clinics across the United States. When a patient logs in to her/his account, s/he can book a doctor by state, by specialty, or by the type of insurance carrier. A customer service representative from the online medical booking service will confirm with the hospital or clinic whether or not the request can be accommodated, and will immediately notify the patient via email.
How Patients Book Online
The terms and conditions of booking a doctor online can vary depending on the type of online medical booking service used. To give you an idea on how to book online, read on the following tips:
- Check if your hospital has an online medical service and register. If there is none, you can search for an independent online medical booking service that covers your hospital.
- Upon registration, fill out the required information (i.e. name, address, phone number, carrier insurance, and medical condition)
- Find your doctor using the search function in the webpage and check their schedules.
- Book an appointment and wait for the email confirmation.
- If the online medical service offers a downloadable application for your phone, take advantage of the feature to receive a notification via mobile phone anytime, anywhere.