How To Avoid No-shows In A Medical Facility

Patient no-shows have been a perennial issue for the healthcare industry since time immemorial. Various programs have been introduced to tackle this problem with effective scientific studies and research conducted on it. The main aim of such measures is to increase access while simultaneously reducing the financial impact of no-shows.

patient no-shows

Some of the common reasons that are identified behind such cases were; forgetting the appointment, unexpectedly being called into work, or not being able to reach someone at the clinic to leave a voicemail or cancel. Implementing some effective practices like appointment reminder solutions, prioritizing accessibility, and using specialized approaches for each specialty.

Track The No-Show Rates

For a medical practice to decide future steps and policies for avoiding empty booking slots due to patient no-shows, first they have to monitor the rates. It is important to have clear demarcations and definitions of the term if one wishes to establish a way to track it. Two common mistakes that are often observed that can unintentionally lead to misleading data are including cancellations and appointment changes into their no-show rates and marking a no-show as “canceled”. To set a benchmark, let’s define a no-show as a patient who never arrived for a scheduled appointment and never prior notice. Therefore, the rate can easily be calculated by observing the no-shows and the total scheduled appointments through patient management systems and appointment reminder solutions.

Use Automated Appointment Reminders

Appointment reminders can come in several different forms. The patients can be reminded via a phone call, text message, or email. The correct timing and the number of reminders can be decided through trial and error or surveying the patients. Prompt reminder systems that seek the confirmation via text or voice message are proved to be extremely effective in cases where the patients might have booked the appointments in advance but may have forgotten about it. Some of the known time intervals for reminders that are adopted by famous medical facilities are 1-2-1 methods i.e sending reminders one week before the appointment, two days prior, and one hour before the appointment. Setting a schedule can help the staff keep a track of the reminders through the automated appointment reminder solutions.

Keep A Waitlist

Having a current and updated waitlist gives the healthcare unit various options to fill the gaps. This can be done by confirming the days and times the patients on the waitlist are available for or if they can accommodate the appointment due to the proximity to the clinic. This helps in preserving the staff’s time and prevents any monetary loss in the income. If the facility is aware that the patient is chronically a no show, one can consider double booking so that the situation can be handled appropriately. Waitlists can also be useful in filling last-minute cancellations. There are specific messaging apps and programs which can immediately alert patients on the waitlist like the technologies used in appointment reminder solutions. This feature really improves the petite’s access to care and their relationship with the physician.

Lastly, Implement Effective No-Show Policies

No-show appointments – The patients need to be encouraged and motivated to show up for their appointments without any fear or hesitation. Having some kind of policies that inculcate repercussions of not showing up might help the practice help avoid repeat offenders. Some of the effective policies that are known to discourage such behavior are charging fees for the abandonment, having some reward policy for patients who arrive on time, and detention policies in which patients who miss an appointment are required to attend a 30-minute session at the practice that focuses on healthcare issues and the importance of keeping their appointments. They are allowed to reschedule their appointment.only after completing the session are they. This may seem that extra time or resources devoted to a patient who is not-showed is counter-intuitive, many providers see this as a way to improve communication and goodwill with patients.

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Krysta Jackson

Krysta Jackson a writer, who writes enriching posts.Apart from writing informative posts on latest technologies, she also writes largely on fashion, health,lifestyle , travel and other leading blogging platform & loves to share her knowledge with others through blogging.