Patient Self-Scheduling Expected to Increase Exponentially

HealthDay News — Digital self-scheduling among patients is set to increase considerably in the next five years, from 2.4% in 2014 to an estimated 64% by 2019, according to a report published by Accenture.

Researchers from Accenture surveyed top U.S. health care systems to examine digital self-scheduling capabilities and forecast these capabilities for the coming years.

An estimated 66% of U.S. health systems will offer digital self-scheduling by 2019, and 64% of patients will use digital tools to book appointments, the researchers estimated. Approximately 38% of appointments will be self-scheduled in 2019, representing 986 million appointments. 

At present, nearly 40% of the top 100 U.S. health systems and 10% of remaining health systems offer the ability to digitally self-schedule appointments. Nationwide, patients self-schedule 2.4% of appointments, out of a total of about 11% of appointments that can be self-scheduled.

“Digital self-scheduling delivers significant financial and competitive benefits, helps maintain patient customer base, boosts operational efficiencies, and improves organizational flexibility and agility,” the authors wrote. “As more health systems jump on the digital self-scheduling bandwagon, adopting improved scheduling options in the context of new models of care delivery, the sophistication of these tools will continue to increase.”

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