Patients who don’t show up for their scheduled appointments have an impact on the productivity and efficiency of the entire healthcare system. With an average no-show rate of 42 percent, the losses and impact of these occurrences vary.
Patients who miss their appointments typically fail to understand the purpose and significance of the appointment. According to an estimate, the occurrence is more common among young patients, people receiving government-provided health benefits, and those with lower socioeconomic status.
There are a number of reasons associated with no-shows. Here is a look at why your patients fail to keep their appointments, causing your practice a loss of thousands of dollars every year.
Negative Perception about the Visit
Over 65 percent patients miss their appointments due to emotional barriers to keeping appointments. More often than not, they anticipate the visit to be horrifying, especially when they have to endure uncomfortable procedures, such as blood draws, shots, or other lab tests.
Besides this, a study finds that people usually have a sense of urgency when scheduling an appointment, which eventually turns into a sense of hesitance when several days have elapsed between the time of scheduling and the date of actual appointment.
Perceived Disrespect of the Patients’ Time by the Healthcare System
Around 44 percent people believe that the healthcare system does not respect patients’ time. Long waiting hours – when getting an appointment, in the waiting room, and in the examination room – is one of the ways disrespect is communicated.
Sometimes, patients also feel that the healthcare staff does not respect their opinions. For instance, patients feel disrespected when their family doctors are called to get a referral before being offered a service.
Long Appointment Lag Times
More often than not, patients need to visit the doctor monthly or at some point far in the future. Appointments with long lag times have high probability of being missed simply because patients are unable to remember them. This may require a more proactive approach to remind them of the scheduled appointment well ahead of time. As a reminder, you can send a text message followed by a phone call several days before the day to remind them of the appointment as well as the purpose of the visit.
While manual reminder system could be time consuming and error-prone, it’s best for healthcare units to use automated appointment reminders. By sending out timely text, call, or email reminders, the automated system can reduce patient no-shows by as much as 25 percent.
With our automated appointment reminder tool in your system, none of your patients can miss their appointment. With options of call, text, and email reminders, we assure that our software will reduce your no-show rate to zero. Get a free demo of our service or sign up to try the tool.