The Health Care Reform Rush: Medical Office Scheduling Software the Cure for Expected 32 Million Patient Increase at Doctors’ Offices

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Physicians and medical practitioners bracing for the expected rush for medical care created by the March signing of the federal Health Care Reform Bill are relying on Appointment-Plus medical office scheduling software to help better manage their patients' appointments. The Web-based scheduler offers such functionality as "point-and-click" screen scheduling and automated e-mail and text message appointment reminders.

Physicians and medical practitioners nationwide are bracing for the expected rush for medical care created by the March signing of the federal Health Care Reform Bill, which provides coverage for an additional 32 million Americans. Faced with doctor and staff shortages, many practices are utilizing Appointment-Plus to help them manage their ever-increasing number of patient appointments more efficiently and with less staff time and resources.

Appointment-Plus medical office scheduling software, an industry leader in online appointment scheduling systems since 2001, gives physicians, medical professionals and support staff the tools they need to better manage their patient appointment-setting procedures. The state-of-the-art, Web-based technology provides functionality such as easy “point-and-click” screen scheduling; online self-scheduling for offices who allow patients to set and manage their own appointments; automated e-mail and text message confirmations and reminders; robust recordkeeping and reporting; and e-marketing capabilities.

Appointment-Plus also helps medical professionals adhere to the provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) by giving them the option of not including patient information in e-mail and text message confirmations and reminders.

New York internal medicine physician Dr. John Lupiano says Appointment-Plus can play an important role in medical offices as physicians and staff look for efficient ways of scheduling their patient appointments.

"Appointment-Plus is key in regards to handling the increased volume of patients expected as health care reform takes hold,” he states. “I would literally need to hire one staff person to handle all the calls to schedule patients, whereas with Appointment-Plus, the patient can do the work for us, and we, of course, have control of the process.”

In addition to improving overall office efficiency, medical professionals who utilize Appointment-Plus typically experience significant time savings, as the program makes it easier to set and manage appointments, thereby freeing up office staff for more important tasks; a reduction in the number of “no-shows”, which are the bane of many medical practices and can dramatically cut into a practice’s operating revenue; and greater patient satisfaction from e-mail and text message appointment reminders and online self-scheduling, if offered by the medical provider.

“The overall impact of the 2010 Health Care Reform Bill remains to be seen, but physicians who utilize Appointment-Plus scheduling software will be better prepared to handle the projected increase in number of patients and appointments,” says Bob La Loggia, CEO and founder of StormSource Software, the developer of Appointment-Plus. “Our innovative scheduling software makes this time-consuming and tedious process much easier to manage.”

The versatility of Appointment-Plus makes it the perfect fit for a wide variety of medical service operations, including general practitioners, specialists such as dermatologist and gastroenterologists, medical offices, dentists, psychiatrists and psychologists, and clinics, urgent-care operations and related medical facilities. Additionally, hospitals and medical centers also utilize Appointment-Plus for other scheduling needs, such as booking rooms and offices for seminars, classes and other functions.

“Scheduling appointments need not be a grueling process,” La Loggia continues. “Appointment-Plus lets physicians and their staff spend less time on scheduling and more time focused on the needs of their patients.”

About Appointment-Plus: Appointment-Plus supplies over 3,500 clients throughout the United States, Canada and 10 other countries the tools they need to schedule customer and patient appointment times, book rooms, accept registrations and many other services. The flagship product of Scottsdale, Ariz.-based StormSource Software, the system has scheduled over 45 million appointments since its launch in 2001. Geared primarily toward small businesses such as medical offices and healthcare facilities, spas, health clubs and massage therapists, users of the service also include Fortune 500 companies, colleges and universities, healthcare agencies and facilities, federal and local government, and freight and delivery services.

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Eric Richard