Opening the digital front door - patient self-scheduling is a ‘win-win’ at Pensacola Cardiology

By Caroline Watson | March 30, 2023

Opening the digital front door

In a world where 60% of patients expect to be able to manage appointments, view test results, and renew medications online, meeting patients where they are requires technology. Across the athenahealth network, healthcare organizations are finding new ways to enhance the patient experience through digital channels, contributing to organizational efficiency, financial performance, and growth in the process.

Here is one of them: 

When office manager Amanda Moats first thought about offering online self-scheduling to patients at Pensacola Cardiology, she wasn’t sure they would be interested. The practice’s patient base has historically skewed older, and many of those patients had been hesitant to engage with digital options like the patient portal.

But since the practice started using athenahealth’s Patient Self-Scheduling capability, Moats has been “flabbergasted” by the enthusiastic response from patients of all ages. “Patients have said, ‘I didn’t realize it would be this easy, you would respond so quickly, and that I would get an appointment as promptly,’” she said. “They love it because it gives them flexibility, convenience, and a sense of ownership over their health and their schedules.”

The practice’s staff feel similarly, according to Moats. “It’s a win-win for us and our patients,” said Moats. “Self-scheduling really saves a lot of time for our staff, especially because we have a small staff. Your staff need that time back as much as the patient.”

One way self-scheduling saves time is by enabling the staff to fill the schedule much more efficiently. “When patients are feeding their availability to us, we’re not having to spend additional time hunting them down,” Moats explained. Pensacola has also seen a decline in no-shows, because patients are the ones suggesting appointment slots at a time that is convenient for them.

With fewer scheduling-based phone calls interrupting their work, Moats said staff feel they can be more proactive about organizing their own day, and they can stay focused on their work. “When you have a patient self-scheduling instead of calling the office, and our staff aren’t distracted by the phone ringing, they’re able to dedicate more quality time to whatever their objective is in that moment,” Moats said. “It helps everybody get quality service.”

Pensacola Cardiology participates in athenahealth’s Client Advocacy Program. To learn more about the program, please visit

Pensacola Cardiology was not compensated for participating in this content.

These results reflect the experience of one particular organization and are not necessarily what every athenahealth customer should expect.

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