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Veribook is an online appointment booking system that integrates with OSCAR EMR and enables medical clinics, physicians, and medical offices to easily schedule patient appointments and bookings.

Cost of Appointment Scheduling

The Cost of Appointment Scheduling

The average total cost of scheduling an appointment by phone is thought to be $1 - $5 per appointment. To come up with an estimate for your own practice, we recommend working through the examples below and adjusting the numbers to try to match your situation.

Our recommendation is to approach the question from multiple angles to get a sense of the upper and lower bounds - if you have another way of attacking this question, email us, we'd love to hear it!


Method A: 1 Receptionist per 4 Clinicians

An industry rule of thumb is that a single full-time receptionist focusing on scheduling can book appointments for 3 - 4 full-time clinicians.

Assuming ...

  • $40,000 per receptionist annually

  • 75 - 100 billed appointments a week per full-time clinician

  • 50 working weeks a year

Lower Bound:

100 appts/week/clinician x 50 weeks / year x 4 clinicians

20,000 appointments / year

$2.00 per appointment

Upper Bound:

75 appts/week/clinician x 50 weeks / year x 3 clinicians

11,250 appointments / year

$3.56 per appointment

Method B: 12 - 24 Calls per Hour

Generally speaking, an experienced receptionist can handle 12 to 24 scheduling related calls every hour.

Furthermore, on average, approximately ...

  • 1 in 20 appointments are missed

  • 1 in 5 appointments are cancelled

  • 1 in 5 appointments are rescheduled

For a clinic with 20,000 billed appointments a year, this works out to:

  • 20,000 billed appointments

  • x 5% no show

  • x 20% cancellation

  • x 20% rescheduling

  • = 30,000 calls

  • = 3 calls per 2 appointments

Lower Bound:

30,000 / 24 per hr = 1,250 hrs

1,250 hrs / year = 0.72 FTE

$40K x 0.72 FTE / 20000 appts

$1.44 per appointment

Upper Bound:

30,000 / 12 per hr = 2,500 hrs

2,500 hrs / year = 1.43 FTE

$40K x 1.43 FTE / 20000 appts

$2.86 per appointment


Staff Costs: 1.2x - 1.4x Salary

A rule of thumb is 1.2x - 1.4x salary, meaning a receptionist earning $30,000 annually costs their employer $36,000 to $42,000 annually (source).

More specifically, this amount includes:

  • Employment Insurance Premiums

  • Holidays

  • Vacations

Excluded Costs: What's Missing

Additional costs make these estimates a conservative lower bound:

  • Calls arrive irregularly - other work cannot effectively be performed while waiting for additional calls arriving frequently but intermittently.

  • Reminder calls are effective at reducing no-shows, but increase the number of calls that must be made.

  • Direct staff costs exclude related costs such as office space, office furniture and supplies, and technology and software licenses.

Conversion Rates: The Impact

The high cost of scheduling individual appointments by phone means conversion rate (i.e. the percentage of total appointments scheduled online) plays a significant role in the success of an online scheduling deployment, and why Veribook focuses on helping clinics achieve, over time, conversion rates in the 50 - 70% range.

Focusing on a single clinician:

  • 300 - 400 appointments / month

  • Every 10% conversion = 30 - 40 appointments / month

  • Assume a cost of $2.50 / appt to schedule by phone

Value of a Service Delivering 30% Conversion

30% = 90 - 120 appts / month

$2.50 in value / appt diverted

$225 - $300 per month in tangible value per clinician

Value of a Service Delivering 60% Conversion

60% = 180 - 240 appts / month

$2.50 in value / appt diverted

$450 - $600 per month in tangible value per clinician