How to Maximize Patient Scheduling in Cardiology
Specialty practices saw a major decline in patient scheduling over the last two years, including annual physicals, screenings and elective procedures, due in large part to patients’ hesitancy to visit their doctor’s offices in person.
What’s astounding is how that concern even impacted more critical healthcare specialties, like cardiology. Case in point: primary care visits saw a 20 percent decrease during the early days of COVID-19, while the decline in patients treated for a life-threatening cardiac event (STEMI) was nearly 40 percent. That doesn’t even consider less urgent, yet essential, cardiology treatments like rehab, clinical consultations and elective cardiac procedures.
In 2022, many patients are clamoring to reschedule those doctor visits – with cardiologist appointments at the top of the list. This surge is especially challenging for cardiology practices since their patients tend to be dealing with life-threatening conditions and can’t afford to wait another six to eight weeks for an open appointment slot. Cardiology practices need to maximize appointment schedules to avoid keeping patients waiting for evaluation or treatment any longer than necessary.
Patient Scheduling Simplicity
More cardiology practices are transitioning to a digital-first scheduling model, giving patients access to self-schedule appointments 24×7 via their smartphones, an app, a web page or other online vehicles. This makes scheduling more straightforward and convenient for the patient. It reduces the burden on front desk staff, who are regularly interrupted by answering inbound appointment requests. It also eliminates the time spent sending appointment reminders and making confirmation calls. Digital appointment scheduling automates the entire process, creating a more positive patient experience – and more efficient front desk operations.
Matching Cardiologist’s Schedules with Patients
But simply letting patients book their visit online is just a first step in building a successful digital-front-door strategy. To truly maximize online patient scheduling, practices need a system with built-in intelligence to ensure every appointment aligns with the needs and policies of the individual practice. Clearwave Scheduling, part of the Clearwave Patient Engagement Platform, matches a patient’s appointment request with physician schedules and preferences and offers only the best appointment slots for patients and physicians.
Automated Eligibility Verification in a Snap
With the right platform behind it, a digital-driven scheduling system also lets practices automate and get ahead of other critical tasks. Automated eligibility verification makes all the difference in cardiology, where patients may require frequent visits and complex courses of treatment. With the Clearwave Patient Engagement Platform and its eligibility verification capabilities, patients can input or update their insurance details, and the system will automatically flag potential issues for follow-up. This prevents unnecessary and highly frustrating surprises at a time when the patient doesn’t need them while helping to maximize cash flow.
For more insight into how practices use Clearwave to streamline the verification process, watch the on-demand webinar, “Elevating Eligibility Verification and Prior Authorization.”
Cardiology practices and their patients deal with life-and-death scenarios daily – their focus has to be on the patient’s well-being and delivering the best possible outcome. One of the best ways to do that is to automate administrative processes like scheduling using an intelligent platform, such as the Clearwave Patient Engagement Platform. In doing so, practices give patients the confidence they’re getting world-class treatment at a facility designed for performance and optimization. At the same time, they free their staff to focus on delivering higher-value, personalized services that reassure and comfort patients during one of the most challenging times in their lives.
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