Andy Oram at Healthcare IT Today interviewed Healthlink Advisors clinical transformation leaders around patient scheduling and pre-visit intake and included their insight in an article around why healthcare lags behind retail, finance, and other industries in serving customers online—and what we can do to improve the patient experience.

Cynthia Davis, clinical transformation executive at Healthlink Advisors, says that many clinics are reluctant to let patients schedule visits online. The clinicians fear that the patient will choose the wrong doctor, time slot, or type of visit—or that the patient will enter critical information, such as medication names, incorrectly. Therefore, Davis advises starting small: Clinics should offer one or two slots per day for patient self-scheduling. More slots can be added as the clinic’s self-scheduling system is refined.

According to Davis, it’s also hard to offer an automated scheduling system when each doctor has specific preferences and requirements: patient type, time allotted for an initial or follow-up visit, and more. Establishing a common process is therefore important.

Davis says some of the attitudes toward self-scheduling, among both patients and doctors, are generational. Younger people are accustomed to online self-service, and therefore more likely to be comfortable self-scheduling their medical appointments.

Read the full article on Healthcare IT Today.