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Full Guide to Doctor Appointment Booking App Development

Paul Kovalenko Paul Kovalenko | April 10, 2023 | 13 min

A doctor’s time is clearly limited by the overwhelming number of responsibilities toward patients. Doctors often struggle to keep track of their schedules, book appointments with patients, as well as manage their personal tasks, which can lead to frustrated patients.

Many clinics are finding digital solutions to this problem as shown by the steady growth of the medical scheduling software market size. This rapidly growing popularity of online doctor appointment app development can be attributed to two major reasons:  

  • Fewer people have gone to the hospitals directly to book an appointment since the COVID-19 pandemic began. As a result, the need for medical appointment booking app development has grown significantly in the last two years   
  • The growing need for better satisfaction in the delivery of healthcare services to patients at their convenience  

In this article, we cover a step-by-step process on how to develop an app for booking doctor appointments and the benefits. 

Benefits of the Doctor Appointment App for Clinics and Healthcare Organizations 

A medical appointment booking app allows patients to choose their preferred specialist and secure their hospital visit online. Doctor appointment booking app development requires significant time, effort, and investment. On the bright side, the end product provides substantial benefits in terms of convenience and satisfaction to the doctors, patients, and front desk workers. 

Other benefits include:

Higher  Administrative Efficiency 

According to a recent survey

  • 60% of respondents book appointments with service providers online
  • 42% of respondents consider being put on hold during the phone call a huge time waster. 
  • Moreover, 17% of respondents suffer from the inability to book an appointment during the hospital’s nonworking hours. 

Medical appointment software increases efficiency in two ways: 

  • By decreasing the time it takes to make an appointment 
  • By reducing the amount of work for front desk employees when booking an appointment. 

Streamlined  Billing 

A Doctor appointment app significantly streamlines the billing by automating the processes involved. Hospital administration can issue bills through a mobile app, and patients can pay through the built-in payment gateways.  The billing history can be reviewed and checked at any time. 

Increased Patient Satisfaction 

Recent research shows that 43% of patients prefer to schedule an appointment online and 57% of consumers go online to find healthcare providers. Younger generations will definitely enjoy the new way to contact the hospital and are more likely to visit more often with proper communication methods in place. Medical apps will also be appreciated by people with tight schedules who have very limited time to schedule an appointment.  

Minimized Appointment  No-Shows 

$150 billion each year is lost by the US healthcare system because of the patients who don’t show up on the visit. 

The hospital front desk may not always have the time to reach out to every patient and remind them about their appointments or reschedule all over again. Technology can do that though – every patient on the app gets an automatic reminder about their appointment. If for some reason they can’t make it, they can always reschedule at their convenience.  

Minimized Manual Errors

Unfortunately, front desk workers are prone to manual errors when handling patient and billing information. Every mistake or duplicate record results in a potential financial loss that can easily be averted with process automation. 

How to Make On-Demand Doctor Booking Application – Key Modules

An appointment scheduling app will only return the investment to the clinic if it has the right features. Patient booking, scheduling, and reminders are some of the must-have features.  

Here are more features to include in your on-demand doctor appointment app development. 

IMAGE IDEA 

Scheduling 

The scheduling feature should remain active  24/7 and allow patients to book appointments with their doctor in real time. Patients should also be able to choose their preferred day and time within the app. 

Doctor Search 

Patients should be able to choose their preferred service provider from within the app.  You can include a  search function based on location, health issue, gender, specialization, years of experience, and reviews from other patients. Don’t forget to allow users to share feedback on the health app or share links to other well-performing service provider websites.  

In-App Messenger and Reminders 

An in-app messenger supports fast and efficient communication between the patient and the service provider. Patients may need to specify some details about their visit or request additional information from the clinic through messages.  

To increase clinic visits, we recommend adding app notification reminders, messages, or emails a day or two before the appointment. This helps patients remember their appointments and prepare in advance.  

Interfaces for All Parties of the Appointment Scheduling Process  

Patients, doctors, and front desk personnel primarily benefit from doctor booking apps. Each party requires specific features to experience the full functionality of the app. We’ve outlined some of the features for specific parties below: 

Patient Profile  

A patient profile is an individual, user-specific record. It contains all the personally identifiable information about that user, including information about their state (e.g., allergies or chronic conditions), demographics, and contact information. Medical apps should provide access to patient profile information should patients or doctors want to access it at any time.   

Doctor Profile   

A doctor profile showcases the service provider’s experience, education, skills, and interests in an easily accessible digital format. Instead of having to keep track of these details manually or storing them in numerous documents on the hospital/clinic website, it’s much easier to just create an app that showcases all the information on the user’s mobile phone. 

Appointment Scheduling Platform for the Front Desk Employees  

Medical apps allow hospital staff to monitor invoices, generate custom reports, and track the performance of the healthcare facility with greater efficiency. Moreover, front-end staff will be able to manage such appointment-related information from one platform. This also includes: 

  • Document uploads (to let patients share their lab tests, screening, and Electronic Medical Reports)  
  • Payments   
  • E-prescriptions  
  • Real-time chat  
  • Symptom checker  
  • Audio and video consultations 

All these features would greatly streamline the administrative processes, so front desk employees would have more time to concentrate on boosting their efficiency.

Need help building a doctor appointment app?
Reach out to Langate

Doctor Appointment Booking Application Development: Step-by-Step Process 

Here’s how to make a doctor appointment app in 5 clear steps. 

Decide What Features Your App Will Have

Before you begin looking for a developer or a company to help you create your appointment app, you’ll need to decide what features it will have. For instance, you may want the app to provide patients with the ability to view a list of your doctors and their bios, as well as their services and contact information. 

You may also want it to allow patients to sign up for text or email reminders about their upcoming appointments, and have the option of integrating with third-party platforms, such as online booking websites to make the process even easier.

You may also want to include e-prescription app development to eliminate the problem of wrong prescriptions.

Make a list of everything you’d like the app to do, and don’t be afraid to get specific. The more detailed you are, the easier it will be for developers to understand what you’re looking for.

Find a Team for the Design and Development of an Online Doctor Appointment System 

If you decide to build the app yourself, you’ll need to find the right developer for the job. There are a number of factors you should take into consideration when doing this, including the developer’s experience, the cost of their services, and the amount of time they’ll need to complete your project. 

Below are the most common development options on your table: 

  • In-house team: a team that works as a part of your company, has its own office, and is on a salary 
  • Software outsourcing vendor: in this model, you hire a team from a specialized doctor appointment app development company on a project basis. It can be based in your country or overseas. Be sure to find a development team with fairly-priced services,  lower labor costs, and high-quality products 
  • Tech partnerships: a tech partner takes full ownership of the product creation process and provides the development services 

Capitalizing on the expertise of the outsourcing vendor in a certain domain can be a reasonable investment even if you already have an in-house team. In case you are looking for a reliable software development vendor, feel free to contact Langate. We have extensive expertise in the healthcare industry and can work within a cooperation model that is most suitable for your business needs. 

Create a Doctor Database 

There are two ways to access doctor-related information through the app: 

  • Connect to publicly available doctor databases like 1upHealth, Doctor.com, BetterDoctor, Doctor Database through the API 
  • Compile a database of professionals from other healthcare organizations from scratch 

If you develop a custom solution for a particular clinic or healthcare chain, you will need a second approach and the Langate software development team knows how to work with sensitive health data and databases.

Work on UX/UI Design

While creating interfaces for all groups of app users, designers need to keep in mind the primary needs of each group:

  • Design for the patients’ portal should be intuitive
  • In the doctors’ portal, all EHR-related information should be easily accessible up to date
  • Pay special attention to the needs of your front desk employees by designing an app that can handle administrative information

After creating the prototype of the app, you are finally ready to start the actual development process. 

Actual Development 

The development team would need to work on building the front-end interfaces of the app, developing its back-end architecture, connecting doctor databases, creating solutions for the in-app message exchange, sending push notifications, and processing payments.

Ensure HIPAA Compliance 

HIPAA protects patients’ information from leaking out to unauthorized parties and imposes huge fines on those who do not follow the guidelines. Make sure that your IT team knows about the regulatory compliance standards for healthcare and can sufficiently secure the app.  

In case you want to leverage the expertise of professionals in compliant software developers, feel free to contact Langate. We fully encrypt health data for GDPR & HIPAA compliance and ensure its safety.

Improve the Product Based on User Feedback 

If you do not update the app regularly, it is likely to become obsolete and unable to keep up with the competition. So, listen to your patients’ and medical staff’s feedback to successfully satisfy their ever-changing needs. 

Interested in learning more about healthcare-related software? Check out our recent post about building a medical insurance verification software.

What Challenges are in Developing a Doctor Appointment App?

While it is true that digital solutions have made doctor appointment mobile app development easy, there are still a few challenges with this process, including.

Regulatory compliance

One of the top challenges developers face during doctor appointment application development is building app that complies with the law on data collection, storage, and processes. For example, in the USA, on-demand doctor apps should be HIPAA compliant. It is important that you pick a development company that can work in line with all the relevant healthcare legislature and regulations.

Security

Everyone is security conscious these days and ensuring the safety of patients’ personal information such as medical histories, contact details, and so on is crucial when developing a doctor appointment app. Stronger security measures such as encryption, two-factor authentication, and reliable service providers that know how to prevent data breaches in healthcare should be considered.

Proof of doctor qualification

It can also be difficult to ensure that the doctors listed are qualified to provide the type of help required. Where possible, implement some form of verification process or background check to ensure that only qualified practitioners are listed.

User experience

Working out how to build a telemedicine platform that delivers optimum user experience is one of the most important checklists in app development. It can also be a challenge. A good way to overcome this is to implement the agile methodology. Continuous collaboration between developers, stakeholders, and users will provide the insight needed to create a user-friendly app.

Top 3 Examples Of Doctor Appointment Booking Apps

Below are three examples of a typical on-demand doctor app so you can have a better idea of what to expect.

Doctor On Demand

Users of the doctor-on-demand app can have access to a large number of board-certified physicians and licensed psychologists. The platform offers 24/7 virtual healthcare services for physical and mental health. Users can book appointments, manage appointments, and even interact with doctors live via video conferencing. 

Practo

Practo offers complete telemedicine solutions for a wide range of issues. It features real-time chat and phone-based interactions, appointment bookings, check-ups, consultations, ordering of medicines online, and expert medical insights via its blog.

ZocDoc

ZocDoc is another popular on-demand doctor app on the market today. This app uses AI to match healthcare professionals to patients based on their unique health challenges. Users can also search for and use ZocDoc to book appointments with local doctors. 

How Much Does it Cost to Build a Doctor Appointment App?

The cost of developing healthcare apps may reach up to $425,000 on average. There are several factors that influence this cost though. Some of the top considerations are.

The complexity of the app

Building a basic app will cost a lot less than building something with advanced features. For example, app features like video consultation, appointment management, electronic health record management, and so on, will increase the overall cost of software development.

Development platform

The platform for which is app is developed is another factor that will contribute to the cost. iOS, Android, web apps, and cross-platform apps are all charged differently. 

Integration with third-party tools

If you want to develop a doctor appointment app that integrates with 3rd-party tools like EHRs, payment options, SMS gateways, and so on, the cost of development will likely increase. 

Development team location

Where you get your developers from matters. For example, the average mobile app developer in the US charges between $38- $63 per hour. In an Eastern European country like Ukraine, this same service costs between $20 – $50 per hour.

At the end of the day, to build a doctor appointment app, your total expenditure will depend on the scope of your project, the features you want in the app, and whether you want to hire an in-house team or outsource to remote experts.

Our Experience 

Langate has been working with healthcare medical appointment booking app development for over 20 years. Our HIPAA-compliant center and professionals will help you develop your raw idea on paper into a detailed plan based on your unique needs.  

Additionally, the Langate team has extensive experience in identifying the unique business needs of healthcare organizations and building custom solutions for them. Such as – e-prescription app development or how to build a telemedicine platform. And for sure – how to prevent data breaches in healthcare. In our recent case study, we explain how our team has developed software for clinical trials that is perfectly tailored to the specific clinic needs. 

We will assist you in every step of doctor appointment booking system development and make sure that your app will stay relevant and beneficial in the years to come.  

Final Thoughts 

If you decide to create an online doctor appointment system, you’ll need a trustworthy partner to help you every step of the way. A medical appointment app significantly reduces a patient’s likeliness of not showing up, boosts customer satisfaction, and automates time-consuming administrative routines.
Ready to develop an app to book doctor’s appointments? Langate can create a custom solution tailored to your specific needs! Reach out and figure out the first steps with us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is it worth it to create your own medical appointment booking app?

If you have a healthcare facility, creating a doctor appointment app can help to reduce administrative workload, streamline appointments, and overall enhance the patient experience.

How long can it take to design and develop an online doctor appointment system?

Doctor appointment booking app development will depend on the features of the app, the complexity of the project, and the skills and experience of your software team. For an app with advanced features, 150 days is a pretty good benchmark.

Who does my development team for doctor appointment app development?

A typical team for this project will include a project manager or team lead, a UX/UI designer, front and back-end developers, a database admin, and the QA team.

How much does doctor appointment app development cost?

The design and development of an online doctor appointment system can cost anywhere from $50,000 to $500,000.

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