• Dr. Ryan Corte

The Real Impact of Patient No Shows in Healthcare

What is the impact of patient no shows in healthcare?


In this video, I share with you the unfortunate reality of how no shows impact the patient and the healthcare industry.

When a patient doesn't show up for a scheduled appointment, it's bad for both the patient and the practice.


Below are a few ways no shows impact all parties involved.


How no shows impact patients


1) Continuity of care is discontinued

Patients who don't show up to scheduled doctor's appointments don't get the care they need.


Unfortunately, preventative care and screenings aren't delivered in a timely manner and acute illnesses can evolve into chronic conditions.


Also, patients that are on medications are less likely to be monitored effectively.


2) More expensive emergency care later on

Let's say a patient had an acute condition. They saw the doctor, treatment was initiated, and the condition improved. Shortly after, there was a follow-up appointment the patient missed.


The office reached back out and rescheduled the appointment, which the patient missed as well. All of a sudden, the acute condition turned into a chronic one that lead to the need for more urgent, catastrophic care.


Preventative and early onset care is better for the patient and the health care system. When patients miss appointments this burden is not only placed on them and their health but also factored into the cost of health care for everyone.


3) Every missed appointment could have been filled by another patient

Have you ever called the doctor and their next available appointment is several months out? I have!


Did you know doctors and specialists have no shows that happen every single day?


Unfortunately, these missed appointments impact the ability of others to be seen for care.


RELATED: 12 Reasons Why Patients No Show For Doctor’s Appointments


How no shows impact the healthcare system


1) Lost revenue

No shows are expensive! We're talking 150 billion dollars annually in the US healthcare system. On average, each physician loses $200 for an unused slot.


This adds up over time and is a huge issue when you're trying to operate a healthcare practice.


2) Staffing imbalances

Most healthcare practices staff for a full schedule, especially established practices.


No shows and last-minute cancellations increase the potential for unproductive, idle time.


Unless your staff is super disciplined, the last thing you want is a number of no-shows to prompt them to pull out their phones and scroll through social media on the clock.


3) An increased cost of care to see patients

Every office has fixed costs, including staff, rent, equipment, and technology.


Running some quick math, every missed appointment increases your cost to provide care to the patients that do show.


For example, to keep the math simple, if your fixed cost to operate each day is $1,000 and you have 20 patients scheduled for the day and only 15 show up, your cost to see each patient went from $50/patient to $66.66/patient.


RELATED: 9 Tips To Maximize the Patient Experience


Final thoughts

It should now be clear why no shows are terrible for the patient and the healthcare system. Fortunately, strong patient education and a proactive team can help reduce no show rates!


What do you feel is the biggest impact of appointment no shows in healthcare? 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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