It’s no secret that many medical offices struggle to assure that their patients show up to their appointments. In fact, some outpatient and surgical clinics can see a no-show rate of 25%. If half of your patients are failing to show up for their appointments, not only is your office losing money, but you’re consistently having to reschedule appointments. This is both time consuming and inefficient. Here are some ways to minimize those pesky last-minute cancellations and No-Shows.
1. Prioritize early contact:
The standard procedure in many medical offices is to send out an appointment reminder service to patients about 24 hours in advance. However, reminding patients the day before their appointments may not give them enough notice, and they may end up missing the appointment anyway. Statistics show that No-Shows for same day appointments are half that of appointments made three weeks in advance, so if your patient does cancel, you may be able to fill the spot if given enough notice.
2. Request confirmation:
Don’t be afraid to request that your patients confirm their appointments or reschedule for a different date a full 48 hours in advance. Giving your patients the option to reschedule before they miss the appointment is a good way to ensure that their spot can still be filled. Some people No-Show simply because they don’t want to make the phone call to cancel, so making the first move and reaching out to your patients early gives your office greater control over your schedule.
3. Be concise:
Appointment reminder messages should be concise, while including some easy-to-follow instructions to confirm, cancel, or reschedule if the patient wishes to do so. Sometimes, patients don’t show up simply because they don’t know the proper procedure for cancelling their appointment. Making it easier for them, makes it easier for your office.
4. Give realistic expectations:
Patients cancel or skip their appointments because they assume that they’ll be able to reschedule at their earliest convenience. In reality, many medical offices are booked solid for months and can take a while to find an open slot for patients to reschedule. Be realistic when informing patients of expected wait times.
By following these measures, you will receive cancellation notification early enough to fill that slot with another patient. Ultimately, implementing some form of automated appointment reminder services is the best way to minimize No-Shows and cancellations. For more information about medical appointment reminder services, contact Callpointe..