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The Intelligent Appointment Scheduling Blog

Alleviating Patient ‘Traffic Jams’ at Medical Labs

The medical and diagnostic lab industry is growing rapidly, as the range of available tests and services—and the quantity ordered by doctors—continues to increase. Companies in this industry collect blood, take images and perform a range of other procedures, the results of which help doctors diagnose and treat their patients. Among the many factors contributing to the growth of these services in the U.S. are earlier disease detection, an aging population, and the expansion of employer-sponsored wellness programs.

According to a report by MarketsandMarkets, blood collection alone is a $7.65 billion market today that’s expected to surpass $ 9 billion by 2021.

As demand for lab and diagnostic services increases, most providers are challenged to keep pace with rapid growth in the number of patient visits. For example, because many blood tests require overnight fasting, it’s common to see a traffic jam of patients at a lab first thing in the morning. This makes managing the flow of patients a critical requirement for business success and customer satisfaction.

Lab and diagnostic service providers can benefit greatly from a robust appointment-scheduling solution to help manage a waiting room full of hungry people every morning—and continuing arrivals throughout the day. The ideal solution would offer self-service appointment scheduling on the lab’s website or through any mobile device, and also would offer patients the option of using interactive voice response. IVR is a boon for patients who prefer to schedule appointments by phone.

Beyond appointment scheduling, a customer-experience solution for lab facilities also would include queue management system and related services to help patients check in automatically upon arrival, minimize wait times, and avoid confusion about who is next in line.

Having more customers is a “problem” every business loves to have. So as the medical and lab diagnostic industry continues to see an influx of new and recurring patients, the ability to effectively manage the volume of appointments will benefit not just the labs but also their patients and the doctors who await the results. As people become increasingly protective about how they spend their time—with waiting for service being at the bottom of virtually everyone’s to-do list—labs must identify and deploy solutions designed to decrease wait times to keep patients satisfied so they won’t start looking for another provider for their medical diagnostic needs.

As wellness programs, earlier detection of diseases and other factors continue to evolve, medical and diagnostic labs will see their patient volumes climb. Providers that deploy solutions to effectively serve this increased patient flow will see their businesses grow.

Click here to learn more about the benefits of TimeTrade appointment scheduling for health and wellness providers.

Written by Chris Carroll

I'm the Product Marketing Manager at TimeTrade. I focus on the customer experience of the product and use our customer learnings to help update our workflows and create materials to help train our users. I also focus on our client facing marketing programs, social media initiatives, and content curation.

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