It should come to no one as a surprise that no-shows will financially hurt and psychologically drain your medical practice. To offer a service to a client/ patient, several teams or departments must work together. Every no-show that you get throws every team member off their game.
There are many ways that you can use to reduce the number of no-shows that you get in your medical facility, from the use of automated appointment reminders to pre-paid appointments to the use of fines and penalties.
In this article, we will be breaking them down one by one.
Gone are the days that the front desk would call every patient on the appointment book, reminding them of the time of their appointment. A quick and more efficient solution is the use of automated reminders. With the patient’s contact information provided, the automated system will send out reminders at appointed times via message and email.
This saves the clinic both time and money since the staff has time on their hands to attend to the other pending issues.
A follow-up message
Sometimes, a patient’s no-show doesn’t necessarily mean that they forgot about the appointment. Maybe something urgent came up, or they were held up in a meeting across town. What you may need to do is to send out a message to them and ask them to get in touch with you. If you have a policy on missed appointments, this will be a good time to reiterate it.
For most clinics and hospitals, payments for diagnosis and treatment are done after the appointment. While it has been the traditional method, the patient has no incentive to show up for the appointment.
Allow for patients to pay for their appointments beforehand. To lure them in, you can try and offer a discount on the second visit. You would be surprised by how many patients will take you up on the offer.
Wait room time
Time is money. Just as you expect someone to respect the timing of your appointment, it is also important for you to do the same. It could be that your patient is a no-show because your previous appointments always ate into the next one, and so on. If this carries on from time to time, you might lose several patients.
To value your patient’s time, always have a maximum wait room policy. This could be around 10 to 15 minutes.
Develop strong relations
As much as you rely on your patients to meet your financial obligations as a medical practice, they are more than just a figure on a spreadsheet. By fostering good relations with your patients, you are building and growing something more permanent.
During the holiday season (and birthday wishes), always have a message or email sent out to your patients. This could be coupled with health tips or new treatment plans that you are offering as a medical facility.
Never underestimate the power of bonds and human relations.