Currently, only a handful of healthcare facilities offer online scheduling, and only 2.4 percent of all patients take advantage of it.
But according to new research from Accenture – an internationally-based consulting and technology firm – within the next five years, that number is expected to grow to 64 percent.
That means 986 million appointments are expected to be booked online, with a potential savings of $4.2 billion for the healthcare industry, according to Accenture.
About 80 percent of patients in healthcare facilities using online scheduling are expected to be able to use the technology, experts said.
“Just as consumers use online tools to book restaurant reservations or request a cab. Patients will want the same experience in self-booking a doctor’s appointment,” said Dipak Patel, managing director of Accenture’s patient access solutions. “Evidence also shows health systems can use self-scheduling tools to boost appointment capacity, reduce costs and/or increase productivity.”