Online appointment scheduling software solution

    Learn how we helped our client:

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    Create a complex medical appointment scheduling solution

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    Build a SaaS product with a pay-as-you-go business model

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    Add a source of revenue by allowing clinics to use the product

    Business context

    Before coming to Yalantis, our client used several poorly integrated software solutions for appointment scheduling. However, they didn’t fully cover the practice's needs and provided poor usability. These constraints pushed the client to use more third-party apps tailored to different tasks — and even Excel tables. The client wanted to handle appointment scheduling in one convenient app and enable other clinics to do so as well.

    Our client asked us to create an all-in-one public-facing platform from scratch that would help patients book appointments with the group’s doctors as well as with outside healthcare providers. Our client expected to bring in revenue by turning the appointment scheduling platform into a SaaS product for third-party healthcare organizations.

    Overview of SaaS-related functionality

    We developed a SaaS-ready solution that includes the following custom functionality:

    Built-in EHR module compliant with legal requirements

    Third-party payment integrations

    Extensive role and permission system

    Resource management functionality

    Notification system for ensuring patient loyalty and attendance

    As a result, patients can:

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    Find NPI-registered doctors based on health issues and location

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    Book visits using advanced appointment scheduling functionality

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    Get information on appointments and discounts via notifications

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    Make payments for doctor appointments online or offline

    Healthcare practices get the opportunity to expand their patient bases and ensure an effective process management flow through:

    Easy and fast onboarding performed by practices themselves

    A calendar that shows doctors’ availability by date and location

    Appointment tracking enhanced by appointment statuses

    Payments for visits via an advanced payment automation system

    Patient and resource management via a flexible role-based system

    Most prominent features

    Improved practice management functionality

    To provide improved usability, we researched the platforms our client previously used. Then we adopted and improved some of their features to ensure a smooth transition to the new customized booking system for the client’s staff. We also provided a consistent user flow for admins and front desk operators so they can assist each other.

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    Distributed areas of responsibility

    The client’s business model requires implementing multiple user roles. We implemented four default user roles for patient service management: admins responsible for managing the entire group of clinics, practice admins, front desk operators, and patients. The architecture we built allows for adding more user roles if needed.

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    Improved appointment visibility

    We implemented appointment statuses out, canceled, no-visit, arrived, confirmed, and new, which significantly simplifies appointment management. Sophisticated color coding helps clinicians to monitor the patient database by highlighting new and established patients.

    Confirmation appointment

    [Information in this image is fictional and is for instructional purposes only]

    Compliance and product security implementations

    Our planned course of actions for development included:

    limiting the scope of data visibility for sensitive PII/PHI data

    logging activity with regular long-term cold storage backups

    implementing strict access limits for sensitive information

    using AWS as a fully HIPAA-compliant infrastructure provider

    setting the session expiration time

    limiting the number of devices that can be logged into one account at a time

    using HTTPS/SSL protocols to ensure secure data transmission

    providing encrypted file storage for data protection

    Validation tools for minimizing human error

    Here are examples of how we helped front desk operators avoid making mistakes:

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    When there are new appointment requests in the system, front desk operators see a notification until they confirm them.

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    If there are booked appointments within an available time slot, a front desk operator can’t delete this time slot until they move the booked appointments to another time slot.

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    A patient can cancel an appointment in response to receiving an appointment notification, which reduces the number of skipped appointments.

    SEO optimization

    Before creating requirements for internal optimization of the cloud-based software solution, our SEO specialist analyzed competitors in Google search results and identified promotion strategies for our client’s SaaS product. Before creating the design layout, we prepared specifications and recommendations for frontend developers, backend developers, DevOps engineers, and the marketing team:

    Frontend
    Frontend developers

    Developers received instructions on how to apply Semantic HTML5, microdata, and requirements to header properties.

    Backend
    Backend developers

    The specification included validation of title page and description lengths, the logic of breadcrumbs micro-markup, etc.

    DevOps
    DevOps

    Recommendations to DevOps engineers touched upon the setup of Nginx, which is software for serving web pages, reverse proxying, caching, load balancing, etc.

    Marketing
    Marketing

    There were recommendations regarding content marketing to attract and retain customers through writing blog articles to cover users’ common problems.

    Approach to developing a SaaS solution

    When creating SaaS software, it’s important to consider the SaaS-oriented mindset, business, functional, and technical factors. All of them affect the solution architecture and integrations. Our client wanted us to build a SaaS product cost-effectively. Here’s what we did to save money and minimize product maintenance costs.

    Mindset factors

    Standardized services
    Standardized services

    We standardized all services and features that our client wanted to provide their customers with and ensured that features work the same way for all customers.

    Direct contracts with service providers
    Direct contracts with service providers

    Direct contracting is much cheaper than ensuring integrations with the client’s service providers. That’s why we contracted with third-party providers to enable custom features like payments, audits, and KYC (for verifying customers’ identities).

    Business factors

    Agreed on an SLA

    We prepared and established a service-level agreement (SLA) that considered specific technical requirements and the costs needed to meet them. We also prepared technical solutions to comply with technical requirements.

    Set service limits

    When the client set traffic and load limits, we ensured their monitoring and the collection of statistics. We also set specific software restrictions. This helped the client provide smooth system functionality and customer billing.

    Analyzed the monetization model

    To build the billing architecture, we analyzed the client’s monetization model, including pricing, billing, and trials. This analysis helped us figure out how to implement interactions between feature and billing components.

    Estimated maintenance costs

    As a solution provider, we estimated the costs required for SaaS product maintenance. This included costs of the cloud service, custom software development, and platform support.

    Functional factors

    Customer admin panel
    Customer admin panel

    We provided the client’s customers with an admin panel. By using it, customers can monitor their accounts and manage service packages.

    SaaS admin panel
    SaaS admin panel

    To enable human-based customer support, which is a must for a SaaS solution, we implemented a SaaS admin panel.

    Technical factors

    Crafted high availability and disaster recovery strategies

    We developed high availability and disaster recovery strategies that help the product function effectively if any events interrupt service.

    Built the product architecture

    We created the product’s architecture considering the tools that would help us implement the required functionality. We documented architectural choices and kept them up to date.

    Automated deployment

    To enable service reliability, we made automated deployment part of our SDLC approach. Together with our DevOps engineers, we prepared a strategy for automatic resource provisioning and tenant onboarding based on end customers’ requirements. Automated deployment helped us minimize human error.

    Value delivered

    The client expanded their revenue streams by enabling other medical practices to benefit from the product. The developed SaaS-ready solution is user-friendly, quick to deploy, and provides appointment scheduling functionality. Now, our client sees the full picture of the application and can expand its functionality if needed.

    Clinical practice management

    Before:

    The client could barely handle their own practice management. There were several separate applications, each with its own UX and user flow and lots of manual communication with patients.

    After:

    The client provides its customers with open APIs. A unified system provides an intuitive user flow and the ability to track all doctor visits, cancelations, and reschedulings. Automated notifications, SMSs, and emails have unburdened administrative staff.

    Medical practice onboarding

    Before:

    Onboarding new healthcare organizations on similar platforms might take days, weeks, and even years. This process is usually implemented on the provider’s side, and healthcare companies can barely speed up their onboarding.

    After:

    On the new platform, any healthcare company can set up an account themselves, pay for use of the service, and request account activation. As a result, it takes a new practice just an hour to appear on the platform.

    Bringing in new customers

    Before:

    If the SaaS platform were not SEO-optimized, it would rank low in Google search results. Even older websites are likely to rank lower than other similar but SEO-optimized ones. Consequently, websites that are not SEO-optimized go unnoticed by potential customers.

    After:

    As a result of SEO optimization, the SaaS platform took top positions in search results for low-frequency queries. This ensured a constant flow of new customers to the platform.

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