The 5 Biggest Benefits of Mobile Check-in Apps for GP Practices

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The global pandemic has drastically changed how healthcare is delivered, and technology is playing an ever-more vital role in ensuring patients continue to get the best care possible. 

One of the digital technologies that has become more popular is mobile check-in apps. They let patients check-in at their convenience, avoid long queues, and easily adhere to social distancing guidance.

But the benefits don't stop there. 

Here are five advantages to using mobile check-in apps at your GP practice. 

1. Smaller Queues

Long queues and lengthy waiting times are long-standing issues in healthcare, mainly due to its unpredictable nature. This is unlikely to be solved overnight, but modern advancements like mobile apps can streamline the check-in process, making it much easier to manage queues at busy times. 

Mobile apps let patients check-in from devices when they arrive at the practice. Self-check-in is easy, and usually just requires a couple of taps or a quick scan of a unique QR code.

Once they're checked in, they just need to wait for an on-screen notification that lets them know their doctor is ready, so they can come directly to the treatment room. This reduces the amount of unnecessary queuing inside the practice and gives patients greater flexibility once they arrive. 

Prepare your waiting room for the future with our latest free guide: 'How to  Futureproof Healthcare Waiting Rooms: Covid-19 and Beyond'

2. Reduced Stress on Admin Staff

From mountains of paperwork, endless phone calls, and near-constant patient queries, reception staff have always got something keeping them busy. Throw manual check-in into the mix and you've got a recipe for repeated disruption, preventing them from carrying on with important tasks. 

With mobile check-in software, you can alleviate some of this pressure, and remove the need to manually sign in patients. 

For staff, this means they're no longer held up doing tedious admin like filling in forms, signposting, or identifying patients freeing up their workloads and giving them extra time to focus on more pertinent issues. 

3. Fewer Missed Appointments

When patients fail to turn up for appointments, it's disruptive for healthcare providers. It's also frustrating for those on the waiting list and can lead to patients missing out on a routine treatment or delaying a diagnosis. 

Sometimes it's unavoidable, but if it's a recurring issue, it can lead to longer wait times, ineffective staff scheduling, and financial losses due to wasted resources. 

Thankfully, mobile check-in apps can help minimise no shows by pushing automated SMS and email reminders directly to patient's devices. Gentle reminders work wonders and are incredibly handy for patients that are apt to lose track of their upcoming appointments. 

4. Improved Patient Flow

Your check-in process can make or break a patient's healthcare experience. A stress-free check-in will make for a memorable visit. On the other hand, poorly managed check-in processes can contribute to bottlenecks in patient flow, delayed appointments, and dissatisfied patients.

Mobile check-in helps to improve patient flow, by allowing patients to wait anywhere within close proximity of their appointment area, like their car, an outdoor waiting area, or the nearby coffee shop.

Once the doctor is ready to see them, a simple notification via the app can let them know, so they can come straight through the practice to their appointment. This eliminates crowding in busy waiting rooms and makes the check-in process more efficient. 

5. Easier Adherence to Social Distancing

Social distancing in GP practices has become essential since the advent of COVID-19, and it's likely that these measures  are here to stay for the coming months, if not years, to come. 

To help maintain social distancing, many practices have adopted mobile check-in, to help minimise physical interactions between patients and practice staff.

Mobile check-in lets patients bypass internal waiting rooms and any other areas that have a higher risk of contact with staff and other patients - and head directly to appointment rooms instead. This also helps to protect at-risk patients, while still ensuring they get the best care possible. 

A New Approach to Healthcare

Technology like mobile check-in apps and telehealth are streamlining the patient experience, giving patients greater control over their healthcare experience. 

And these changes are here to stay. 

Healthcare organisations need to prepare for the needs of the future while adapting how they deliver care to cope with changing trends. 

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