“Would you like to be added to the waitlist?”

Whether you’re eating at a popular restaurant, buying concert tickets, or scheduling a doctor’s appointment, you’ve likely encountered the waiting list. We’re all pretty familiar with concept. And if we’re being honest, we probably all apply to the same (likely negative) connotation to the word.


Here’s what we know:

1. Waitlists don’t have the best reputation
2. Yours doesn’t have to follow the curve
3. Making the workflow work for you is easier than you may think
4. A systematic use of OhMD’s tools make patient waitlist management a breeze

That’s why patient waitlist management is so important. There is pressure to serve as many patients as possible in the U.S., to deliver care quickly, but also to drive practice revenue. Implementing an effective waitlist system helps to set patient expectations and ensure a positive patient experience.

Consider the business model of most medical practices.

For the most part, practices generally rely on the high volume, low margin model. This means that patients need to be coming in the doors on a very regular basis, and any open appointments need to be filled as soon as possible.

So for the health and happiness of patients, and of your practice, good patient waitlist management is a must. Let’s take a look into how to achieve a workflow that works for everyone, all within one platform.

Step 1: Make Autopilot your best friend

To kick off your patient waitlist management workflow, you’ll need to know which patients want to be added to the waiting list when an appointment opens up. Luckily, you can do that via text using OhMD Autopilot.

Autopilot functionality is triggered on keywords sent in by patients to your practice’s textable phone number. For a patient waitlist system specifically, we would suggest building a flow based off the keyword ‘waitlist’, or something of the like. When a patient messages in that keyword, they will be entered into an automated text conversation that allows you to gather information you may need to know about patient needs and preferences that you can leverage if a cancellation does come up.

The best part is, once you have it set up, OhMD does all the heavy lifting and you’ve collected everything you need to connect the patient to the care they seek.

A big part of the puzzle is promotion. For waitlist management to work well, people need to know you offer it!

There are some simple ways to promote. Two of the most effective we’ve seen from other OhMD users:

  • Advertising your waitlist on your website
  • Sending a Broadcast to your patient list

If patients are aware of your waitlist management system, and know that they can request being on the waitlist by sending a simple text, filling open spots in your schedule becomes much, much easier.

Step 2: Tag ’em!

Once you know which patients would like to be added to your waitlist (thanks, Autopilot!), you’ll need a concise way to keep track of those patients. That’s where tagging comes in.

Right from the patient chat you can note that the patient would like to be added to the waitlist using the simple tag ‘Waitlist’. If you want to get even more specific, you can tag patients for time preferences using tags like ‘Prefers AM’ or ‘Prefers PM’.

Step 3: Got a cancellation? No problem, you’ve got filters

Once you’ve tagged patients, it’s easy to return to that list when the time comes. Simply filter by the tag ‘Waitlist’ that you applied earlier, and see the patients with that tag populate on your chat screen.

Having tags and the ability to filter by them right in OhMD means that you no longer need a spreadsheet or external monitoring tool to keep track of your waitlist. Research shows that switching between apps cuts down on productivity and increases the risk for error. For that reason, it just makes sense to keep as much work as possible happening in one consolidated location.

Keeping all your waitlist information in OhMD, patient details are right at your fingertips. No more toggling between your EHR, the office phone, and a clunky spreadsheet.

Step 4: Have an opening? Let patients know

Once you’ve pulled that list of patients using the appropriate filter(s), you can send them a message letting them know an appointment slot opened up. If you find that your waitlist messages are used frequently, you can make them into an OhMD Saved Reply, so they’re even easier to send. You may consider saving something like:

Hi {Patient Name}! We have an appointment that just opened up for tomorrow at 3pm. Availability is based on a first-come first-served basis. Respond to this message if you’d like to take the appointment.

Saved replies are available across your organization, so everyone has access to send the same saved replies to patients when applicable!

Step 5: Celebrate your effective waitlist management success!

With adding patients to your OhMD waitlist and messaging them when a spot becomes available, your workflow for filling canceled appointments just got much more streamlined. Leverage the Autopilot tagging filtering saved replies workflow and see the positive change in your patient waitlist management.


See more patients and fill open appointment slots

Improve your waitlist management and gain access to a library of patient communication tools. See why over 50,000 clinicians choose OhMD for patient texting.