Research shows that patient no-shows cost healthcare providers approximately $150,000 each year. It’s no secret that patient no-shows are one of the biggest frustrations for healthcare practices. From the valuable time wasted on preparing for the appointment to loss of revenue, no-shows often throw off the daily routine of your practice and hamper your productivity. So, how you can tackle the no-show problem? Have you ever thought of it? Well, don’t worry if you haven’t; we have some great tips for you. In this article, we’ll discuss 6 ways to minimize no-show patients at your healthcare practice. Keep reading to know more.
Research shows that patient no-shows can be classified into two buckets:
- Patients who forget their appointment.
- Patients who couldn’t reach due to one or more practical reasons.
While there can be more reasons for no-shows apart from the ones mentioned here, it’s imperative to find ways to reduce the no-show numbers and ensure that patients are getting the necessary healthcare aid in one way or the other.
Let’s look at 6 useful ways to decrease the annoying no-shows at your healthcare practice.
There are times when patients are late for an appointment, and the reason for the delay is inevitable. In such cases, instead of shutting the doors for them, provide them with a grace period and allow appointment delays. The fear of getting late for an appointment often translates into a no-show.
In continuation to the first point, sending a quick and polite reminder to patients about their forthcoming appointment can buzz their memory. It is also an effective way to take a step toward patient loyalty. So, automated reminders can cut-down patient no-shows and signal the patient that you care about their well-being.
There’s no denying the fact that everyone is super busy these days. In such a busy scenario, don’t you think expecting your patients to wait for 30-40 minutes is too much to ask for? If your patients don’t feel you value their time, they’ll definitely not value yours. This is another critical factor that can lead to a no show which is equivalent to a lost patient. So, if you want to minimize no-show patients, make sure you reduce the waiting time at your clinic and value your patients’ time.
Another proven way of reducing no-shows is paying extra attention to patient satisfaction. Once an appointment is over, make it a point to follow-up with your patients to check if they’re satisfied with your services. Many patients do not turn up for an appointment if the previous appointment was a disaster or they simply did not find it value for the money they’re spending to make an appointment with the healthcare provider. Remember, exceptional care goes a long way in patient satisfaction and engagement. The more you’re invested in them, the more committed they would be toward your healthcare practice. Send them holiday and birthday wish. Keep them updated about the current updates in the healthcare industry by sending them weekly or monthly newsletters. Offer valuable healthcare tips from time to time.
By best resource, we mean someone on your team who has excellent communications skills. Make that person accountable for following-up with patients who did not show up and the reason behind the no-show.
Flexible healthcare services are especially critical to old patients or those who have physical challenges that make it impossible for them to visit your clinic. Anserve, a small business, has joined hands with Bluestream Health to provide patients with telehealth services. They’ve come up with a convenient platform where a patient and a healthcare provider can connect using audiovisual telecommunication technology. Through the means of real-time videos, patients can now communicate with their providers virtually and skip in-person appointments. Real-time videos can be leveraged for both, diagnostics and consultation. Sounds great, doesn’t it? The dawn of telehealth services can help a great deal in reducing patient no-shows.
Now that you know 6 useful ways to cut-down patient no-shows, what do you think? Don’t you think they’re easy to implement and would be effective too? We hope you found the tips valuable. If you have any questions regarding any of the tips mentioned in the article or patient no-shows in general, please feel free to write to us. If you have any more tips that you would like to add, we’re all ears.