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How To: accept more appointments by making scheduling easier for patients

January 13, 2020
Madeleine Barbera
Joseph Lucero

A simple and powerful appointment scheduling software is important for your practice. If your patients cannot easily and quickly make appointments, they will not show up. It's a simple idea. 

To make the appointment scheduling process more natural for your patients, you need to find the pain points or points of conflict in your process. 

Which typically involve: 

  • Bad user interface 
  • Slow loading 
  • Verbiage that doesn't make sense
  • No clear way to describe why they're coming in
  • Buggy form fields that seem to lag between each question 
  • Lack of information 
  • Questions that force the patient to answer something that may not apply to them

Not only will a proper scheduling system present a painless way for your patients to schedule appointments from the convenience of their own home, but it even automates some of the administrative work for your front office. 

How you can easily create a HIPPA Compliant scheduling system

There are countless appointment scheduling software choices available today, however, some can be pricey for what you truly get. Or you have the software companies that price gouges solely because they work in medical and know physicians will pay the fee.

Finding the right software or solution can also be challenging because not many of the options are HIPAA compliant. We identified the best substitutes and workarounds for this problem at a very cost-effective angle. 

Solution #1

First, regardless of the platform you use for your website, you should be able to create a contact form where patients can choose the day and time they want their appointment to be and provide basic information; name, phone number, address, and email address. 

Some common website builders where you can do this include WixSquarespaceWordpress, and Webflow

Please keep in mind that you should never ask for PHI (Personal Health Information) through these forms. Unless you have a self-hosted Wordpress website with the proper security measures in place, otherwise keep the PHI questions for the follow-up. 

This is the follow-up - an automated email that gets sent to the patient after they submit the form. The email will contain a HIPAA compliant intake form for the patient to fill out with their medical information. 

We recommend using JotForm, which is only $39/Mo for their HIPPA Compliant plan. 

Jotform is intelligently simple and does not require any kind of technical expertise or coding. The whole interface is drag and drop, over time the platform becomes very delightful to use. 

As soon as your new patient completes this form your staff can locate the data through Jotforms secure dashboard and print the intake form or input the data into your EHR. 

Solution #2

Similar to our first solution - except for this you just use Jotform from the beginning and gather visit details immediately. You will need to use Jotform’s Google Calendar Integration for patients to choose an appointment date and have it sync with your Calendar. 

You can only sync your patients desired appointment date with your calendar if you’re using Gsuite, which is Google's business version of Gmail. We highly recommend using Gsuite! 

You can effortlessly track appointments in G Suite with HIPAA compliant calendars. G Suite also allows providers to connect with their patients via email, video conference, and document sharing. To ensure your G Suite account is HIPAA compliant, you must accept the HIPAA Business Associate Amendment:

  1. Sign in to the Google Admin console.
  2. Click Company Profile.
  3. Click Show More, then Legal & Compliance.
  4. Next to the HIPAA Business Associate Amendment, there are Security and Privacy Additional Terms. Click on them, then click Review and Accept.
  5. Answer all three questions, then click I Accept. 

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Written by
Madeleine Barbera
Content Lead
1550 Larimer Street suite 126 Denver, CO

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