When a patient fails to show up for the scheduled appointment, it does not just affect the patient, but also has a bearing on the practice. Some practitioners don’t even know their no-show rate, let alone understand the cost of missed appointments.
According to an estimate, missed appointments cost healthcare units as much as $150,000 in labor costs and lost revenue annually. For a multi-physician office, the damages may be much higher, reaching up to one million dollar.
Physicians should not ignore the losses of this magnitude. Whether the practice is big or small, even a minor no-show rate may result in huge losses. Following are some ways that can help you reduce the patient no-show rate and improve the overall performance of your practice.
1. Appointment Reminders
Sending out appointment reminders ahead of the scheduled time is the best strategy to reduce no-shows, cancellations, and reschedules. Although appointment cards can be effective, a phone call is your best bet. A study reveals that patients are more likely to remember an appointment when they receive a call, so it’s best to call to remind them of their scheduled appointment.
While making a personal call to everyone may be error-prone and time consuming, you should consider using automated call, text, and email reminders. Automated appointment reminders can save on thousands of labor hours and cost, decrease no-show rate, and improve your revenue. Make sure that the appointment reminder service offers customization with integration with other related programs to manage all your scheduling tasks.
2. Schedule Management
Schedule management is essential to prevent patients from the frustration of long waits. If patients feel that you respect their time, they are less likely to miss their appointments. Make sure that you keep regular office hours and stay on time. Also, discourage reschedules as sometimes loose schedules may lead to higher rate of reschedules. Besides this, maintain a list of patients who can show up on a short notice to fill the emptied slots.
3. Implement a No-Show Policy
Develop and educate your patients on no-show policies. Offer rewards as well as charge fines to make them follow their appointments strictly. Placing a nominal charge on cancellations or asking for a prepayment for their next appointment can significantly lower no-show rate.
Besides this, make sure that the patient’s contact details are updated so that they can receive reminders on time.
Are your patients not showing up for their appointments? Sign up for our automated reminder service to implement a robust reminder system. With its collaboration features, the tool can also integrate with our scheduling programs to bring your entire patient management system in line. Request a free demo or contact us online to learn more about the program.