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Automated Appointment Reminders Reduce Patient No-Show Rates, Says Study

Posted by Philip Young on Thu, May 07, 2015 @ 11:05 AM

Healthcare providers understand that their most significant loss of revenue is due to missed appointments. Often times, patients simply forget they had an appointment in the first place, causing the appointment slot to go unfilled. It’s a problem that all medical practices deal with.

Doctors at the University of Rochester’s Department of Family Medicine have taken an interest in the issue. Specifically, they looked at the effect of automated appointment reminders on patient no-show rates.

The TestAppointmentREminder1
Doctors arranged to send randomized voice reminders to a subset of patients 24 hours before their scheduled appointments. They used an urban family practice for the setting of the study. In all, 479 patients received an automated appointment reminder while 424 did not.
 
The Results
Patients were nearly 40% more likely to miss their appointment if they did not receive a reminder, the study found. 19% of patients who received an appointment reminder missed as opposed to the 26% who did not.
 
Interestingly, 17% of patients who received an appointment reminder call cancelled or rescheduled their appointment, which was higher than the 10% who did not get a call. Even so, these appointment slots were available to other patients because the practice had time to re-fill them.
 
What This Means
Medical practices that implement automated appointment reminders will see a reduction in their patient no-show rate. Additionally, patients that need to cancel or reschedule their original appointment are given the opportunity to do so with plenty of notice to the practice. This saves office staff time and money!
 
Did you know?
The amount of lost revenue due to missed appointments far outweighs the cost of an automated appointment reminder system. Get more facts and figures here.

Topics: voice broadcasting, appointment reminders, Medical, patient communication

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