6 Best Practices to Reduce the Patient No-shows
Many healthcare organizations still don’t consider missing appointments as a serious concern. Our personal opinion is, every healthcare business owner must take some alone time to measure their no-show rate and evaluate the loss associated with the same. For instance, suppose you had a total of 400 appointments last month. However, 100 of them were no-shows. So how do you calculate the rate of missing appointments? Well, it’s simple; divide 100 with 400, and then multiply the answer with 100. So in this case, it’s .25*100, which says the no-show rate is 25%. Guess what! It accounts for a significant amount of money- 25% of your income to be precise.
Without forgetting the fact that no-shows are inevitable, it can be avoided to a certain extent through right practices. And also considering the fact that 60% of missed appointments are coming from only 10% of your patient base, you can narrow down your analysis to that specific group and take measures to minimize the occurrences of missing appointments.
Set Up Automated Reminders
If you are already familiar with some kind of appointment booking software, it’s easy for you to understand this. For instance, ABS-Appointment Solution incorporates automated reminder feature, which can be used to follow-up upcoming appointments and thus make sure no bookings are going to miss. On the other hand, machine-generated reminders can narrow down your expense in terms of both time and money when comparing to a manual follow-up approach.
Promote Pre-paid Appointments
Yet another effective way to bring down the no-show rate is to introduce a pre-pay option for the appointments. By promoting such kind of approach, patients will be much aware and keen about the money they spent and the appointment too. You can even offer discounts for those who are ready to pay in advance for the appointment.
Take Measures to Elevate Patient Relationship-Improve
Commitment to the Practice
There are many ways you can cement your relationship with your patients. In short, going personalized is the most effective way to steal a place in your user’s mind. Sending birthday and holiday wishes is one way to ensure this. However, you can also send newsletters, and health tips to make your patients feel valued. Hence and so, if your patients feel as if they are important and needed, the possibilities of missing appointments will automatically diminish.
Have a Written Cancellation Policy
You must have a written policy on appointment cancellations and your patients should be aware of that as well. Your standard operating procedure should be designed in such a way that no patients will miss this part. For example, missing an appointment once can free and clear of any charges, but charging for every no-show after that can help you significantly reduce the no-shows. Anyhow, be clear about your policies and make your patients know that before getting involved in an appointment booking process.
Give Rewards to Those Who Keep Appointments
Rewards always work with your users, isn’t it? You can even try the same strategy in the case of appointment booking as well. Offer small discounts for those who don’t miss their appointments. You can also note don the on-time arrivals of your patients and give them a gift card to encourage them not to miss their appointments.
Offer a Printed Copy of the Appointment Date and Time
Even if the patient has a digital copy of the appointment confirmation, make sure they have a printed copy as well. This help reminds them of the information. Also, tell them to place where he/she can find it easily.
Appointment booking is an integral part of healthcare today, and there are many effective ways to keep track of your appointments and to avoid the no-shows as well. All the above-mentioned practices are proven practical and effective, however, there are many other strategies you can try to streamline your appointment scheduling process. Keeping your patient wait time for a minimum, double booking, etc are just a few among those.