But what you might not have thought about is how they improve the experience for your clients as well.
Keep in mind that 96% of online complaints about doctors are related to customer service and communication, not about the quality of medical care that the patient received. The complaints were around poor communications, disorganisation, and excessive delays, which are all things that can be improved with the use of appointment flags.
While we’ve previously covered the importance of a good client experience and ways to do it, it’s also the small details that add up. Something as simple as optimising the way you use appointment flags can go a long way to offering a better experience, both for your clients and your team.
Ideas for Using Appointment Flags
We’re constantly learning from Power Diary users about new and creative ways to improve the client experience using appointment flags.
1. Telehealth Appointments
- Internet connection working
- Device charged or plugged in
- Telehealth software open and ready to connect
The flag gives you a heads-up so you can make sure you are prepared in advance for the appointment, which means that you don’t cut into precious appointment time because you can’t find your charger or are struggling to connect.
Pro Tip #1:
If many of your clients have moved to Telehealth appointments, you could set up Telehealth as a location so that it appears on the appointment schedule, which frees up the flag to highlight other notes.
Pro Tip #2:
You could set up two different telehealth flags, one for a first appointment and one for ongoing telehealth appointments. This will quickly let your team know if they need to make special preparations to onboard a client who hasn’t had a telehealth appointment before. In this case, you might choose to use bright green for an initial one and a darker green for ongoing appointments.
2. First Appointments
This is an essential flag for both your admin staff and the practitioner. A first appointment flag will signal to the admin team that they need to have the relevant paperwork ready for the client when they arrive. And it reminds the practitioner to follow a first appointment session plan which will usually include taking a detailed patient history.
This flag goes a long way to improving the client experience by ensuring that the intake process runs smoothly and that, during the appointment itself, the client gets the best possible level of care.
3. Last Appointments
This is an important one as it allows you to ensure you have the right paperwork ready to go. It can also be a time to reflect with the client, showing the progress or change that has happened during the course of their journey with your practice.
4. Concession Clients
Creating an environment of dignity for all your clients is a vital part of offering a good client experience. By flagging concession clients, you can avoid embarrassing front desk situations related to incorrect charging.
5. Special Needs
Appointment flags can be used to remind clinicians and admin staff of special needs. Examples include wheelchair access and the need to book a wheelchair-friendly room on the ground floor or a special needs child who needs the familiarity of the same room every time they come in for an appointment.
6. Schedule Appointments Optimally
This would be relevant for psychology practices and paediatric allied health practices, among others. In this example, you could set up flags for different schools to ensure that appointments for children from the same school are spaced out to avoid crossing.
For many, seeking help from professionals is a very personal process. As a health practice, you can support this need for privacy by reducing the likelihood of overlap by children from the same school.
Ready to start using appointment flags?
If you’re new to appointment flags, there are two easy-to-use features in Power Diary that can make the experience simple and stress-free.
1. Flag Setup
To create a flag, go to Setup > Custom Lists > Appointment Flags > Add Flag, then insert the name of the flag and allocate a colour.
2. Flag Reporting
If you’ve been using flags for a while, you might be interested in running a report or two for analysis.
To create a report, go to Reports > Appointments, then select start and end date and run the report. To get the appointment flag data, sort by the column “Appointment Flag” (hover the cursor next to Appointment Flag column heading), and group by this column.
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There are many ways to use appointment flags and, if done right, it can add a lot of value to your team and your clients. As one Power Diary user shared,
“We use appointment flags all the time. So much so that we’ve actually run out of colours!”
We’d love to hear more about how your practice is using appointment flags and will continue to update this list as we go.