How To Reduce Patient No Show Appointments In Healthcare
How do you decrease patient no-shows in your practice?
In this video, I share with you steps you can take to cut your patient no-show rate in half!
When a patient no shows for an appointment, it affects your ability to serve another person and negatively impacts your practice’s bottom line.
Here are the best ways to decrease no-shows in your practice!
Get patients in for appointments as soon as possible
The longer a patient waits to be seen, the greater chance they're gonna look elsewhere for an appointment or lose interest in coming.
If you're booked out for several weeks or months, add another provider to your team or adjust your hours of operation to accommodate patient demand.
Confirm appointments early and often
I strongly suggest that you use multiple forms of communication and reminder methods to confirm appointments.
Automated text messages have been the gold standard for the last few years and work really well. Automated emails are also very good and postcards are still impactful for annual appointment reminders. Of course, a personalized phone call to connect with the patient over the phone is great too.
Every patient responds differently to various forms of communication. I have plenty of patients that if you leave them a voicemail they won't check it. I also have patients if you send them a text message they're not going to read it.
Test out what does and doesn't work so you can best manage your schedule.
Switch to a digital intake form
Digital intake forms are awesome and help streamline the patient experience.
By monitoring the completion of digital intake forms, you can often gauge if a patient isn't going to show up, especially if they haven't confirmed their appointment.
As an added bonus, this decreases the amount of time the patient is in the waiting room, improving their experience at your practice.
Verify insurance before the appointment
Insurance dictates a lot in the healthcare industry.
When a patient understands that their insurance is accepted at your practice, they're more likely to show up to their appointment.
Honestly, this takes a proactive staff and significantly improves office efficiencies and the patient experience.
Communicate exam fees before the appointment
Be as transparent as possible with your office fees. Patients appreciate it and can easily price shop a number of options in a matter of a few minutes.
In certain healthcare verticals, this isn't always possible. However, if it is, it's well received by patients who are scared of or fear that they can't afford the cost of the visit.
Highlight the office no show policy
If you don't have an office no show policy, I recommend you create one.
Doing so sets boundaries and educates the patient on your policy if they cancel last minute or if you don't show up to the appointment.
For example, one that we have in our practice is if a patient doesn't confirm their appointment within 24 hours of their appointment that appointment slot opens up to somebody else who is interested in being seen at that appointment time.
Educate the patient on the importance of the appointment
This one is really for providers to do for established patients.
If you're talking to a patient and you're having them follow up in a month or two, let them know why is it important for them to follow up.
If you don't, they may skip the follow up to save time or avoid the cost of the follow up visit.
Thank the patients that promptly show up
The lifetime value of a loyal patient is huge!
Thank and praise those that consistently show up on time and are respectful and responsible.
If you own your practice, consider putting together a reward system to show your appreciation for these patients and their loyalty.
By following the steps above, you'll cut your patient no shows down significantly! And, you'll maximize the schedule to serve more patients than ever before.
What steps are you taking to decrease patient no shows in your practice? Let me know in the comments below and stay tuned for my next video where we can reflect and grow stronger together.
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