No-show: A Costly Problem with Simple Solutions
Patient no-shows are a major problem in the healthcare industry, costing billions of dollars each year and leading to poorer health outcomes for patients.
There are a number of reasons why patients may miss their appointments, including forgetfulness, transportation issues, work obligations, and lengthy wait times.
However, there are also a number of things that medical practices can do to reduce no-shows.
One of the most effective strategies is to send appointment reminders.
Text reminders are particularly effective, as they are convenient and easy to respond to.
A recent study found that text reminders can significantly reduce no-show rates.
The study found that if there is no appointment reminder, the rate of no-shows is 33%.
However, when patients receive a same-day text reminder, the no-show rate drops to 19%.
And when patients receive a same-day text reminder plus the ability to check in online and pay online, the no-show rate drops to just 4%.
In addition to sending appointment reminders, there are a number of other things that medical practices can do to reduce no-shows, such as:
- Make it easy for patients to schedule and reschedule appointments. Offer online appointment scheduling and allow patients to reschedule appointments online or over the phone.
- Be respectful of patients’ time. Reduce wait times and let patients know if there will be a delay in their appointment.
- Build relationships with patients. Get to know your patients and their needs, and show that you care about their health.
By taking these steps, medical practices can reduce no-shows, improve patient care, and save money.
Re-Engaging Canceled and Rescheduled Appointments
Even with the best appointment reminder system, there will be times when patients cancel or reschedule their appointments.
However, there are a number of things that medical practices can do to re-engage these patients and fill the open slots.
One option is to publish newly open slots to a waiting list.
This allows patients who are waiting for an appointment to move into the open slot.
Another option is to reach out to patients who have canceled or rescheduled their appointments to see if there is anything that the practice can do to help them get the care they need.
For example, if a patient canceled their appointment due to transportation issues, the practice may be able to offer them a televisit.
By re-engaging canceled and rescheduled appointments, medical practices can further reduce no-shows and ensure that all of their patients have access to the care they need.
Patient no-shows are a costly problem, but there are a number of things that medical practices can do to reduce them.
By sending appointment reminders, making it easy for patients to schedule and reschedule appointments, being respectful of patients’ time, and building relationships with patients, medical practices can improve patient care and save money.