doctor pointing to watch upset and angry for missed appointment

How to Decrease Missed Appointments

Missed appointments is a common occurrence among all businesses. But what about your business? What if you could decrease the number of missed appointments for your business or practice? You could potentially save hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per month! All the while, increasing your customer satisfaction with your services.

First, you need to understand why your customers miss their appointment, and then you can tackle how to fix it. While reasons vary for missed appointments, sometimes just asking can give you the answers you need. Below are two scenarios you can use to analyze how you can improve patient care and decrease missed appointments

Scenario #1 - Missed Appointments Due to Not Having Transportation

Mary suffers from Chronic Pain. She needs to be seen regularly by her doctor to manage it. Mary regularly misses her hospital appointments for her chronic pain. When she misses these scheduled appointments, she cannot manage her pain appropriately. And for her doctor, they just have a no-show. This results in negative outcomes for both parties involved. Not only is Mary unable to manage her pain, but she may end up paying a no show fee as well. 

 If we sit down with Mary and get to the root of why she misses these appointments, what would we find?

  1. Mary struggles to find transportation to the hospital. With her chronic health issues, Mary can’t drive herself so she has to make arrangements.
  2. Mary is concerned that when she arrives to the hospital she will not be able to find someone who can push her in a wheelchair. Or she fears she will get lost in the hospital by herself.
  3. The appointments created anxiety for Mary. So much so that she would talk herself out of going to her appointments

Scenario #2 - Missed Appointments Due to a Busy Schedule

Paul regularly misses his dentist appointments. Paul believes in visiting his dentist every 6 months, which is the standard, yet he is constantly rescheduling with his office. Why does this happen?

  1. Paul is a bit unorganized, like most of us. He doesn’t always remember to add the appointment in his calendar or phone and instead relies on the dentist to send him a reminder. Paul is reminded of his appointment, which he made six months ago, only one day in advance. He finds there are regular conflicts with his schedule and he chooses to prioritize over the dentist appointment.
  2. This patient doesn’t think about his dentist or his appointment six months away, so when he is reminded he feels surprised.
  3. Paul doesn’t see the value in keeping his dentist appointment so he constantly reschedules.

How we can help

AppointmentReminders.com could have a significant impact in both of these case studies.

In Mary’s case, our system could send a reminder to her a week or so before her appointment and require a confirmation.  If she did not confirm the appointment, the staff could follow up with a live call to her and maybe even help with transportation.

In Paul’s case, our system could have reminded him of his appointment well ahead of time so he could plan better for it.  It could have also send an additional reminder the day before, just so Paul didn’t forget it.

The monthly cost of sending these reminders using our system could probably be paid for with just one appointment. 

An automated appointment reminder program like ours can also do much more than send reminders. You can send your patients surveys to get honest feedback which can be used to improve patient care. You can also use the program to send snippets of information throughout the year to your patients to keep your practice “in front” of them. This is a great way to let your customers know that you are thinking about them and staying in touch.  That way, they will keep you in mind more often than just once or twice a year.

To decrease missed appointments for your practice today, Start your free trial here!

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