Patient cancellations are one of the biggest revenue obstacles in most medical practices today. On average, up to 10% of patients do not show up to their scheduled appointments - adding up to large amounts of wasted time and lost revenue. Aside from profit-loss, patient no-shows can also upset office productivity and be detrimental to daily workflow.
Most healthcare providers can agree that patient no-shows are bad for their business and their patient’s health. Consider these 4 steps to reduce the patient no-show rate at your medical practice.
1. Consider consequences for missed patient appointments.
Develop a plan for how your medical practice will respond to missed patient appointments. When booking patient appointments, consider explaining what the fee will be for a last minute cancellation or missed appointment. If patients are made aware of the fee ahead of time, they may be less likely to miss their scheduled appointment when the time comes.
2. Manage your daily patient schedule more effectively.
One of the most common causes of decreased patient satisfaction is long wait times. Overbooking can cause unexpected delays, and long wait times can cause a patient to cancel their appointment all together.
3. Keep track of your patient no-shows.
If you’re beginning to realize that patient no-shows are increasing at your medical practice, start a tracking and reporting system. Being able to analyze your patient no-show data may be able to help you find the cause - and hopefully develop an action plan to decrease the trend.
4. Implement an automated appointment reminder system.
According to Medscape, implementing automated appointment reminders could reduce patient no-shows by as much as 40%. And by receiving automated appointment reminders through the patient’s preferred communication method (text, voice or email), patients are up to 5 times more likely to show up for their scheduled appointment.
BONUS - Check out this case study to see an example of how Alert Solutions’ automated appointment reminder system helped this practice decrease their patient no-show rate to 10% below the national average!