Online Appointment Software the Cure for Administering Vaccinations During Flu Season

Scheduling flu shot vaccinations can be a tedious and time-consuming process for pharmacies, medical facilities and other locales that administer the vaccine. Online appointment software can be just what the doctor ordered.
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Scottsdale - Arizona - US

Jan. 25, 2013 - PRLog -- As the start of the flu season approaches during the summer and fall months, pharmacies, healthcare offices and medical facilities that offer vaccinations begin to experience an uptick of patients and customers looking to protect themselves from the easily-spread virus. This gradual increase can quickly turn into a tidal wave of vaccination requests, especially when the flu spreads more aggressively than in prior years, such as what many states experienced during the 2012-2013 flu season.

For many facilities, one overlying question arises: how do I effectively schedule all these flu shot vaccinations?

The answer is simple: with online scheduling software.


Due to the nature of their operations, many facilities that provide flu shot vaccinations are ill-equipped to handle the sudden rush of customers or patients. Some, like pharmacies, may not have an appointment-scheduling process in place, as they do not routinely meet with patients at scheduled times. Those that do have a patient-scheduling process in place may quickly see the difficulties in managing this important task when receptionists and support staff are inundated with calls from patients looking to not only schedule doctor visits, but also flu shot vaccinations.

In short, a phone and paper appointment book or spreadsheet are not enough.

On the other end of the spectrum is the customer or patient, who must take time out of his or busy schedule to pick up the phone (and often wait on hold) to schedule a flu shot appointment. Some may not even have that option, as the only time they have to make the call is during non-business hours.

Both scenarios have the potential for an inefficient process, which can easily be perfected with appointment scheduling software.


Online scheduling software automates and streamlines the scheduling process by allowing individuals to book their flu shot appointments instantly online, without having to call them in or schedule in-person. Instead of calling in their flu-shot appointments or scheduling them in-person, an individual simply accesses an online scheduler, views available services (such as flu shot vaccinations), selects an available date and time, and then books it. That's all that's required for both the individual and the facility.

Considering that most individuals in our Internet-based society always have access to the Internet through mobile smart phones, tablets and laptops-and a majority of them prefer to conduct routine tasks such as scheduling a flu shot appointment online-implementing appointment scheduling software into a facilities booking operations makes logical sense.

As a cloud-based technology, online scheduling software is accessed and managed through the Internet, just like a social media page or e-mail. This eliminates the need to install the software on an individual computer or network, as well as have an internal or contracted IT team manage it. Like other Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications, most online scheduling software systems are securely and safely housed on off-site servers and managed by the scheduling developer.

The characteristics of online scheduling software translate into oftentimes quick and valuable benefits to both the facility that implements it and the customer or patient.

Benefits to the pharmacy, medical facility or other provider administering flu shots include:

• Time savings, as staff time previously spent manually managing appointments can now be focused on more pressing issues.
• Money savings, as it reduces the need to schedule staff overtime or bring in extra help to assist in the scheduling process.
• Instant accessibility to the scheduling calendar from any Internet-connected device.
• A more orderly manner of administering flu shot vaccinations.
• A decreased likelihood of the facility running short on vaccination, as all appointments are scheduled and accounted for.
• Greater customer/patient satisfaction.

Benefits to the customer or patient include:

• A quick and easy way to schedule a flu shot online.
• The option to schedule a flu shot at any hour of the day, not just during normal business hours.

In addition to the online self-scheduling option, some online appointment systems provide additional beneficial functionality and features to both the facility and its customers/patients, such as: automated e-mail and text message reminders sent prior to a scheduled appointment time; recordkeeping, reporting and analytics to help administrators get an instant snapshot of their appointments; and online payment options, if the vaccinations are a fee-based service.

Scheduling flu-shot appointments during peak season need not a monstrous task. By utilizing online scheduling software, a facility can quickly simplify the process in a way that's beneficial to both the facility and its customers and patients.

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Industry:Business, Technology
Location:Scottsdale - Arizona - United States
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