It doesn’t matter how good your services are if people don’t show up for appointments. Scheduling appointments is the fuel of any practice but reducing the percentage of no-shows is the key. As per a study published at National Center for Biotechnology (NCBI), around 67,000 no-shows can cost approximately $7 million. There are plenty of reasons for no-shows and the practices need to address these issues to increase their revenue. Several strategies can be incorporated to see systems that suit the best practices in general.
Strategies to Look for to Reduce Patient No-shows
The following are some of the most adopted strategies to tackle this issue:
- Telehealth Waitlist
If a person doesn’t show up to their appointment, fill the empty slot on a priority basis. In this way, you can protect the practice’s revenue. Furthermore, you need to constantly get in touch with your clients to know about the most suitable time for an appointment as per their schedule. Apart from that, giving access to patients to book an appointment on their own is another convenient method to reduce patient no-shows. You can also reach out to the patients and see if they’re up for a telehealth check-up.
Telehealth solution not only provides instant accessibility but convenience as well. It allows the patients to get quality care without any delay or stress and helps them to keep their appointments even if they show up at the very last moment.
- Make Rescheduling Easy
If a patient doesn’t show up even after 10 – 15 minutes of their appointment time, the primary step you will be taking is to make a call. The tone of this call decides if the patient will get in your door or not. Do not sound like you are accusing and make sure to ask in a concerned tone. When you make a call, it will establish a connection that will help your nimble practice grow. Providing portal access is another excellent strategy that will help in rescheduling the patient’s appointment.
- Automate the Appointment Reminder
When someone schedules an appointment, always send a reminder. Usually reminding manually is a more convenient option for small practices but there is always a chance of mistakes. An artificial intelligence (AI) based system is recommended as it will automatically send reminders. As per a study by the University of Missouri, convenience can increase the possibility of a patient showing up by 33%.
- Try Multiple Methods
People have different preferences in how they communicate. There are still people who don’t prefer texting but on the other hand, the majority live on their smartphones. While trying to make a strategy to decrease patient no-shows, take this information into account. When the appointment is confirmed, you need to ask about the preferred method of communication. Trying multiple methods is the right strategy but setting the right frequency is the key. Incorporating an app-based appointment system with easy reminders is another strategy to try out. It is not only easy to set up but also helps in keeping the reminder circulating. Make sure to not overdo it as it will have a drastic effect on the no-show rate.
- Let’s not Over Burden Practices
People don’t like waiting for a long time even when they are in a hospital. A recent study shows that the majority of people view long waiting times as a sign of disrespect. So, when you are scheduling patient appointments, keeping a slim waiting time is the right strategy. You need to integrate new technologies to speed up your waiting room so that your patient will have no issues whatsoever.
Getting new clients is a daunting task and you need to decrease the patient no-show percentage. Patient experience management is vital as the right management can turn the tables in your favor. Do not forget to provide telehealth solutions to the patients as they are in great demand for convenience and instant accessibility.