Patient Self-Scheduling White Paper

The benefits of real-time patient self-scheduling are incredible – lower costs, higher patient satisfaction, easier patient acquisition, longer patient retention, higher revenue, and more growth. Say "adios" to painful scheduling requests! This holy grail of scheduling has been incredibly elusive, for reasons many in healthcare are just beginning to grasp.








How much does Patient Self-Scheduling Help?

From as far back as 2017, 4 in 5 patients have preferred a physician who offers online scheduling (Healthgrades analytics, September 2017). And that’s just the beginning! There are a host of other benefits to patient self-scheduling:





How it works


Ad-hoc scheduling

Allows clients to schedule in real-time for whatever visits they need - including labs, procedures, preventive care, and imaging. If something comes up, patients can reschedule without re-entering all the same information again!

With this design, Keona Health has solved the 3 biggest problems to online scheduling success.

First, Keona’s web-based online appointment booking system allows patients to self-schedule the most complicated visits with ease. It hides the complexity on the back-end with a simple, easy-to-navigate interface. Patients answer the questions they need & pick the timeslots that work. Keona's system is able to use insurance, provider preferences, as well as complicated schedules like multiple resources & sequential scheduling to deliver precise and trustworthy appointments without the need for staff resources. No more relying on scheduling requests and phone-tag.
Find out more about how we solve the problems of scheduling complexity here.

Second, Keona Health has engineered the patient flow for high completion rates. Since login screens are the single largest drop-off point for most websites, patients can schedule without a login. And yet the patient scheduled is not a “new” patient, forcing duplicates or manual work. Easy automated patient matching and validation happens on the back-end.

Third, with NLP Symptom Screening with Harvard Health content, self-scheduling is safe-scheduling. Patients don’t need a high health literacy for their self-descriptions to trigger next steps, based on Harvard Health Symptom content. Read more below.


Mass automated scheduling
Uses intelligent Scheduling Patterns to address broad needs across the population. For example, after running queries for who is due for a checkup, test, or procedure, a scheduling pattern can be created to fit the needed scenarios and mass Scheduling Campaigns initiated with a link for patients to self-schedule.

Scheduling Patterns
Scheduling Patterns enable mass-intelligent scheduling. Instead of calculating the best schedule after a patient requests a visit, Scheduling Patterns calculate the needed parameters beforehand and are then given to patients for self-scheduling or rescheduling.


A full scheduling pattern emulates the entire scheduling match – patient data and preferences, visit reason, provider requirements, and all, and finds appropriate availability. This works when specific patients are known, and is primarily used for rescheduling and for waitlisting.

Single-click Rescheduling – With a single click, a patient can click to reschedule without entering all the information requested the first time. Rescheduling can fit your rules for timeframe and advance notice.

Single-click Waitlisting – Fill up empty slots in your schedule with waitlisting. Instead of only waitlisting very basic appointment types, Keona Health’s waitlist works with even your most complicated appointments. When a schedule opens up, the waitlist reverse-matches the opening against all full patterns. Patients with patterns that match are then notified that an earlier opening is available, and you can be confident that all the same appointment rules are met.
A partial scheduling pattern takes partial parameters, but may require patients to answer a few questions before a full match is made.

Scheduling Campaigns – Search your EHR for patients who are due for any test, procedure, or check-up. Create a partial scheduling pattern for the visit reason, and send out the link via CareDesk’s Messaging Module. Patients will still be prompted to answer any questions required, like insurance or symptoms, and can schedule at their convenience day or night.

Pre-built Entry Points – Similar to the links built for scheduling campaigns, you can build landing pages for specific visit types, providers, and locations and have scheduling patterns that match to make patient scheduling and navigation easier. 

What are the benefits?


lettera True patient self-scheduling with even the most complicated schedules

number90% – 100% of appointment types available directly to patients

number-Apr-30-2021-07-28-14-38-PMImproved patient acquisition & retention

letterdReduced call volume

Self-Scheduling that is Safe-Scheduling
lettereBetter growth, revenue, and stability

letterf Less burnout by providers

lettergBetter recruitment

letterhIncreased engagement

letteriImproved provider and staff satisfaction

Patients self-triage wrong all the time. Maintain your reputation for safety and quality with NLP Symptom Screener. Using Harvard Health symptom content, NLP Symptom Screener gets your patients to the resource they need in a timely fashion:



Read more about the solution here.



Here is Success our Clients have Seen

Artboard 10@3x
25% appointments self-scheduled in six months – that’s 1/4 phone calls, less staff time, fewer callbacks

Artboard 11@3x
Fuller schedule with marketing campaigns and scheduling links texting straight to patients

Artboard 12@3xProviders equitably scheduled

Artboard 13@3x
90%+ of visit reasons available directly to patients online, including sequential schedules, multi-resource schedules, and complex schedules that are a combination of multi-resources across sequential bookings.

Download the VWC case study