Scheduling: A Path to Healthcare Transformation

February 8, 2015
74 Views

calendarsWe all like to think big. There is often tremendous benefit in doing so. Seeking to transform Healthcare is a great strategic goal; tactically, not so much. You must focus less on a master solution to fix the “system” and instead figure out how to address niche problems within the system that will ultimately lead to incremental benefits.

calendarsWe all like to think big. There is often tremendous benefit in doing so. Seeking to transform Healthcare is a great strategic goal; tactically, not so much. You must focus less on a master solution to fix the “system” and instead figure out how to address niche problems within the system that will ultimately lead to incremental benefits. Incremental benefits, when aggregated, help promote the necessary momentum for transformation.

To follow that logic, let’s identify an issue such as Scheduling. For anyone that has needed to schedule a doctor’s appointment, historically that required a call into the doctor’s office, selection of a time, and reception of a confirmation call a few days prior. This “process” has improved to the extent that now many doctors allow you to book appointments online and then get the subsequent reminders. Further, there are “public” services/apps that facilitate the same functionality.

However, these solutions often struggle with the competition argument from healthcare organizations or practices: Why would I want my patients to be searching for doctors that are not part of my network? This may go against some of the long-term goals of patient-centered care, but it’s the reality.

These capabilities are a vast improvement, even if they really only solve one component of the broader issue.

Scheduling is not just about booking an appointment.

First off, scheduling an appointment to see a doctor in their office is just one type of appointment, or “use case”. Secondly, scheduling is rarely a stand alone event that is not tied to a broader process or workflow. Instead, scheduling is often one of many steps required to effectively acquire patients, treat patients, discharge patients, and maintain ongoing relationships with patients; the continuum and transitions of care.

Here are some other tangible use cases:

  • The mass scheduling of members or patients for an on-site screening

  • The matching of a pilot with a plane or a helicopter for medevac flights

  • Staffing organizations aligning their workforce to client resource needs

  • The alignment of speakers for new products, devices, or drug events

If you think holistically about the scheduling needs for an industry, you are able to establish a solution that has the lowest common denominator of functionality. From there, you can build custom components that further automate and streamline the intricacies of an organization’s process or competitive advantage.

By working with Healthcare organizations on the Salesforce platform, we are able to create scheduling “solutions” that promote consistency and coordination amongst the broader workflow. Scheduling is thus embedded as a step in the process, as opposed to a stand alone activity. We combine expertise from our Calendar Anything product with a new custom Scheduling Capability to meet the needs of clients by promoting a great user experience, flexibility, configurability, and adaptability.

Further, organizations can leverage the same scheduling solution to address needs across business units at an organization. Just because the solution is leveraged to schedule doctors, doesn’t mean it can’t also be used by the Marketing team to track outbound campaigns to acquire new providers into the network.

This ability to leverage the inherent functionality or capabilities of a solution to meet the broader needs of the organization solidifies an ROI driven by platform economies of scale.

scheduling / shutterstock

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