In this year’s first Blog post, let’s take a closer look at the challenge of high patient no-show rates. Patient no-shows have been a challenge since providers first scheduled appointments, so it’s no surprise that there are lots of ideas floating around on how you can reduce no-shows in your organization.
In a 2010 post from MGMA’s In Practice blog, Elizabeth Woodcock shares her 30 ideas for reducing patient no-shows. Even though six years can feel like a lifetime ago, many of these ideas still make sense for today’s thriving practice. Check out the MGMA post HERE.
Before you jump over, here are a few of the ideas that we KNOW have worked for West clients and other practices:
Set automated reminder phone calls the day before an appointment.
This is a no-brainer for virtually any practice. Why have staff members tasked with placing outbound calls to patients when they could be assisting those patients who are in the office for their visit? Automated strategies also cover a lot more ground in a far shorter time frame. It’s cheaper than mailing postcards. There’s a consistent delivery of notifications each and every day, even if staff gets pulled into other important tasks. It just makes sense.
Develop a call list of patients who are able to come in for short-notice appointments. When a no-show happens, these patients may be able to fill the empty spot.
This one actually ties back to an automated appointment reminder strategy. If you’ll allow patients to confirm or cancel their appointment via an automated notification, that advanced notice of cancellations give you the opportunity to serve a short-notice or wait-list patient. What a great way to improve that patient’s experience!
Provide the option to send your patients an email appointment reminder.
Agreed, and text message should be added to this list too. The more you can do to remind patients of appointments through their preferred channel, the more likely they are to receive that message and take appropriate action.
There are great ideas throughout the post, so remember to hop over to the MGMA In Practice blog and check it out. Are you planning to adopt any of these ideas in 2016?