A lot of patients skip preventive tests or screenings. According to the CDC, Americans only use preventive care at half the recommended rate.1 Though, a recent survey of healthcare providers revealed more than half (52 percent) of medical practices are highly committed to preventive care, their patients may not be.2
Five Reasons Patients Skip Preventive Care
To get patients focused on prevention and wellness, it’s important to understand the reasons they don’t get preventive tests and screenings:
- Patients assume preventive services are expensive. 31% don’t think they can afford preventive care.
- Patients don’t know what preventive services they need. 28% don’t know what services they need, and 29% say they don’t know how often they should get routine tests.
- Patients forget to schedule routine care appointments. 24% don’t know when they are due for a screening or realize when they are past due for tests.
- Patients don’t know who to contact to schedule an appointment. 20% say they don’t know who offers preventive services or where to access them.
- Patients don’t make preventive care a priority. 27% say they only schedule appointments when they are sick. 3
Scheduling Success: Providers Take the Lead
Rather than leaving prevention and wellness up to patients, providers can use their existing appointment reminder technology to deliver personalized messages that make it easy for patients to schedule preventive care.
Practices that have taken this approach have gotten impressive results. Nine out of ten physicians increased patient visits with even minimal outreach. Forty-five percent converted outreach into appointments half of the time, and 38 percent converted outreach into appointments 20-50 percent of the time.4
A large Louisiana health system used its appointment reminder technology to reach out to patients with recent colonoscopy orders. Automated phone calls encouraged patients to book preventive screenings for colorectal cancer by simply pushing a button to initiate the scheduling process. After just two months of patient outreach, the hospital scheduled 578 colorectal test screenings and received positive feedback from appreciative patients who said they wouldn’t have gotten the screening if they hadn’t been nudged by their healthcare team. The added bonus: the health system generated more than half a million dollars in additional revenue from the screenings.5
Encouraging patients to schedule preventive care services—often at no out-of-pocket cost—can add up to thousands of preventive screenings a year and hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional revenue. It’s clear that wellness visits are a win-win—they improve health outcomes for patients and increase revenue for providers.
Read the Report: Patient Engagement: Improve Communication, Improve Care
1 CDC. “Preventive Health Care,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
2 West. “Patient Engagement: Improve Communication, Improve Care,” November, 2016, p. 7.
3 West survey results from healthcare consumers conducted in March, 2017.
4 West. “Patient Engagement: Improve Communication, Improve Care,” November, 2016, p.7.