Outsourcing Appointment Desks: What the Data Says
As the healthcare landscape becomes more competitive, medical practices must find innovative ways to deliver exceptional patient experiences while maintaining profitability. Outsourcing appointment desks has emerged as a strategic solution to address these challenges. This article will present data-backed insights on how outsourcing appointment desks can enhance patient experience and generate revenue for medical practices.
Enhancing Patient Experience
Patients who are happy with their medical provider are more likely to make consistent appointments and less likely to change providers. Enhancing the patient experience is a win for everyone, and outsourcing the appointment desk can do it in several ways.
1.Streamlined Appointment Scheduling
A study conducted by Accenture found that 63% of patients consider appointment scheduling as an important factor in their overall healthcare experience . Outsourcing appointment desks to professional call centers or specialized scheduling services can improve this aspect of patient experience by streamlining the scheduling process, ultimately leading to increased patient satisfaction.
2. Reduced Wait Times
Research by Software Advice discovered that 97% of patients were frustrated with wait times at medical practices, with 45% saying they would choose a different provider if they experienced long waits . Medical practices can reduce phone and in-office wait time by outsourcing appointment-related tasks, contributing to higher patient retention rates.
3. Personalized Attention
Outsourcing the appointment desk frees in-house staff to focus on providing personalized care and attention to patients during their visits. According to a study published in the Journal of Medical Practice Management, 96% of patient complaints were related to customer service rather than medical care, highlighting the importance of personalized attention in patient satisfaction .
4. Improved Communication and Accessibility
An outsourced appointment desk can offer extended hours, enabling patients to schedule appointments at their convenience. According to an article published in the Journal of Medical Practice Management, implementing high-impact strategies such as extended appointment hours and technology to enhance patient-provider communication can significantly improve the patient experience . Medical practices can foster stronger relationships and increase patient satisfaction rates by providing patients with better access and communication.
While the goal of any medical practice is healthy and happy patients, it takes being profitable to make that happen. In a well-run health system or practice, staff are paid fairly, have up-to-date facilities, and operate in the black. Outsourcing your appointment desk can boost revenue and, in turn, increase financial health.
1. Increased Appointment Capacity
Efficient appointment desks can handle a higher volume of calls and appointments, thereby increasing the capacity of a medical practice. According to a study by The Advisory Board, a 3% increase in appointment capacity can result in an additional $100,000 annual revenue for a single physician .
2. Reduced No-Show Rates
Outsourced appointment desks can reduce no-show rates by managing appointment reminders and follow-ups effectively. A study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research found that implementing appointment reminders led to a 29.6% reduction in no-show rates . This decrease in no-shows can significantly impact a practice’s bottom line.
3. Optimized Billing and Collections
Outsourcing appointment desks can also lead to more efficient billing and collections processes. A study by the MGMA found that practices with better billing and collections processes had a 12% higher net medical revenue per physician . Additional revenue can be attributed to the expertise of the outsourced team in handling billing-related tasks.
Outsourcing appointment desks can be pivotal in enhancing the patient’s experience and generating revenue for medical practices. By leveraging data-driven insights, practices can make informed decisions about outsourcing appointment desks and witness tangible improvements in patient satisfaction and their bottom line.
 Accenture. (2019). The patient experience advantage. https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insights/health/patient-experience-survey
 Software Advice. (2017). How to Improve Patient Satisfaction. https://www.softwareadvice.com/resources/improve-patient-satisfaction/
 Journal of Medical Practice Management. (2016). Patient complaints study. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27382747
 Baird, M., Blount, A., Brungardt, S., et al. (2014). Patient Experience and Consumerism: High-Impact Strategies for Medical Practices. Journal of Medical Practice Management, 30(2), 84-88. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25807603/