The past couple of years has seen a massive increase in demand for online tools that help with remote and home working roles. When the pandemic forced many office-based staff to switch to remote working it was believed that productivity would suffer. In fact, with well set-up home offices, it was soon found that it could equal or exceed the levels achieved in an office environment.
Yet it was not just office-based staff who discovered the convenience and benefits of home working. This also applied to professionals in many fields, especially those whose business is carried out largely through face-to-face meetings and consultations. Tutors, for example, switched to online classes. Legal professionals also found they could work via a video link.
This article is looking at another profession in which many practitioners now offer online and physical appointments or have switched to solely digital consultations – namely therapists. We are also talking about why an appointment scheduling tool is simply a must for psychologists and therapist, so let’s explain what such a too does and how it benefits the professional and the patient.
What is an Appointment Scheduling Tool?
How have you been taking appointments up to now? We’re guessing the usual methods of either taking a phone call or using email. That’s great, and you probably write things down in a traditional diary. But this is the 21st century. Surely there’s a better way for therapists to keep track of appointments? A method that is more efficient and less cumbersome? There is, and it comes in the form of psychologist scheduling software that is simple to use, fool-proof, and that cuts out the time spent answering the phone or writing emails. The convenience of such a system cannot be overlooked. How does it work? Let’s run through the steps.
- The client needs to make an appointment
- They log on to a cloud-based online calendar that displays available slots
- They choose a slot that is convenient to them and click on it
- The slot is closed, and the therapist is sent a notification that the client has picked that time slot
That’s it, it really is that simple. So, let’s have a look at how such a tool benefits both parties because there is more to this sort of package than you might imagine.
How Does it Benefit the Therapist
The appointment booking tool takes the onus for keeping appointments away from the therapist and puts it firmly on the patient. However, we would suggest having a routine and perhaps asking the patient to book the next session at the end of the current one. This way, you keep the appointment regular and at what is a convenient time. That’s not the only benefit to the professional that these tools bring. The example we have linked to also includes other features such as an integrated video conferencing facility. The need to install separate software to facilitate this is therefore removed.
Also, should you wish, you can pay a little extra for a ‘white label’ version which removes the branding of the developer and allows you to place your own for greater brand awareness and consistency. Being able to hold video sessions is a major bonus to the therapist, yet perhaps it is even more so for the patient, so let’s have a look at that in more detail.
How Does it Benefit the Patient?
For the patient, the appointment scheduling tool is perhaps more beneficial than for the therapist. They no longer need to remember to make an appointment if the routine we suggest above is followed. Also, they can take advantage of the video tool, but there is one further major benefit for undergoing therapy.
For many people receiving such treatment, getting out in public is difficult. To go to the psychologist’s office takes actual effort and strain and may not be a pleasant experience. That they can simply have their session over a video link is far less demanding than the thought of travel.
They also save the time and money needed to get to and from the office and can arrange the appointment for any slot during the therapist’s working hours. The system also eliminates the possibility of no shows and double bookings, each which adds benefit to both parties. If you are a therapist, or indeed any professional who holds one to one or group sessions or classes, this could be the answer for you.
Working remotely is rapidly becoming the method for many professional, and we are seeing start-up businesses being launched in this fashion on a far greater level than ever before. Check out the scheduling tool we mentioned and compare it to others on the market and start streamlining your online business right now.