How to Avoid Patient No-Shows in Your Practice?
Practices, clinics, and hospitals form the center of activity of the healthcare industry. Hundreds and thousands of patients look up to practices for their physical and mental health and overall well-being. However, many of such patients are often depressed with the whole process, when the healthcare unit or practice is not organized, and the practices they follow are not convenient or patient-centric.
Though a considerably large number of practices have already embraced the newer technologies and replaced the older medical office and practice management systems with them, some of them are yet undecided about whether they should give way to the new-age systems.
The all-new practice and patient management systems have revolutionized practice management and proven to be quite a boon to the industry at large. The implementation of the newer software and systems has brought in a wide range of benefits for the practices. These include:
Boosting the speed and efficiency of the processes
The very first thing that the new-age medical office software has resulted in is the increase of the speed and efficiency of the processes.
Enhancing the workflow
A systematic workflow is a priority when it comes to an industry that is as crucial as the healthcare industry. Moreover, the industry is purely customer-facing, which also makes it essential to be organized and effective, thereby proving to be a hassle-free environment for the customers, i.e., the patients.
Optimum distribution of work
The medical industry is full of staff who are skilled in different segments of the work. Therefore, a proper workflow is essential in a healthcare unit or practice in order to keep work pacing with ease.
Minimizing the billing worries
Billing is elementary whether it is a regular office or a medical office and more so in the case of the latter. As billing is solely related to money and expenses, it needed to be handled with utmost care. Therefore, removing the hassles associated with the billing processes is something that need not be ignored at any cost. Here, the cutting-edge software and patient billing systems are really making quite a mark.
Multiplication of revenues
The improved software of today are making sure that the overall experience that the patients take home is all positive. This not only improves inpatient retention but also attracts more patients to the system.
Improving patient experience
Patient experience is another part where the software and digitalization are prominently improving at a rapid pace. Making the patient experience is the sole motto of the medical industry of now and this is hugely affected by the implementation of advanced technologies and software in a good way.
Reducing the no-shows
Patient no shows have always been a concern for the whole of the healthcare industry. Now, if a patient is booked/registered with a practice for a certain date, whether it is for a doctor visit, a test, or the collection of his/her medical reports/documents, and he/she doesn't turn up, then it is a dismal situation indeed.
What are no show appointments in the medical industry and why do they occur?
No show appointments are still counted as one of the most common events that are noticed in the healthcare industry. Going by the literal meaning, no show plainly refers to a situation when a patient is absent or he/she fails to show up against the booking already made on behalf of the patient. Therefore, they have neither kept nor canceled their appointment, which was fixed on a particular date and time.
An exceedingly high percentage of patients (around 37.6%) reported that they miss their appointments because they simply forget their appointments, did not know about them, or had not got any reminder calls or texts.
The no-shows mostly occur due to the negligence of the hospitals, clinics, or practices, which either fail to inform the patient or fail to do it in the correct way that would have been easy and effective for them. Some other causes of no-shows can be pointed to numerous other factors, which includes:
- Any personal work or other duties that have suddenly come up
- Problems related to transportation and delays
- Insurance-related problems
- Too sick to attend
- Not satisfied with the patient, practice, or doctor, contributing to a negative patient experience
- Switched to an alternative source of care.
How are no show doctor appointments harmful to the medical industry?
No shows doctor appointments are more detrimental than it can be thought of. This is because the patient no shows not only lead to the loss of the time and money of the practice but also affect the patient's care adversely.
The rates of missed appointments in the United States were reported to be between 5% and 55%, as per a recent study by the Journal of Family Medicine and Disease Prevention. It is also revealed that the clinics and practices experience 18.8% average no show rates in healthcare on a global basis.
Here, primary care witnesses the highest total number of no-show patients, which comes to around 33,098 no-shows in a year. Primary care also boasts of having the highest number of visits, which equals 185,945, on an average.
Here is a look at how no shows are bad for any clinic or medical practice:
No shows adversely affect practice in ways more than one whether it is in terms of the loss of time or the decline of the overall revenues and more so in the case of the latter.
Medical Appointment No Shows Add to a Significant Loss in the Practice Revenues
Curbing the no shows has always been a challenge. Reducing no show rates is efficient in uplifting the brand image, improving the retention rate of patients, and multiplying the revenues. This is why numerous clinics, practices, and healthcare units are resorting to diverse ways to curb the problem of no shows.
For instance, doctors on the Sunshine Coast in Australia, have decided to levy charges close to $50 as the cancellation fees to reduce the rising costs of patient no shows in the area. This is not a bad idea and might also improve the no show rates in healthcare. Here is a look at some more practices below that you can adopt to decrease the no show rates in your practice or clinic.
Smart Ways to Avoid Patient No-Shows in Your Practice!
Let's dive into some smart and easy ways to avoid patient no shows in your practice:
Going online for patient appointmentspatient appointments rescheduling
Patient appointments are crucial for any practice or healthcare unit because the appointments are the very first step of communication between a patient and practice. Now, in case the appointments are full of hassles, then the patient will automatically lose interest in the particular practice and might not turn up the next day. Making patient appointments easy and online is thus, an effective way to boost the patient experience right at the start.
Reminder calls and texts
Call and text reminders for a patient help him/her to recall that an appointment is due and he/she need to attend it on a particular date and time. An effective reminder system via calls and texts can significantly improve the rates of no shows of a practice.
Going online for patient appointments rescheduling and cancellation
A patient often lands up numerous other tasks and duties on the day and the very time of his/her appointment. However, if a practice implements an online portal for the patients to reschedule their appointments or cancel them, then that can lead to patient retention, thereby, declining the rates of no shows.
Taking the online route for patient check-ins
A patient, after he/she lands at the particular practice to keep an appointment, needs to be fully attended to. Here, an online route for check-ins helps much. The online way of patient check-ins not only helps them feel that they are being cared for but also improves their overall experience.
Monitoring the wait time and reducing it down
An increase in patient wait times can be a definite reason why the no shows are increasing. Therefore, if you own or manage a practice and are frustrated with the regular no-shows that you witness, then it might be the wait times that the patients in your practice witness.
Implementation of the new-age tools to manage practice better
Patient or practice management is proven to be bettered with the use of the cutting-edge practice and patient management tools that GrowPractice brings your way. The medical office software and systems from GrowPractice have proven to lower down the no-shows by 89%.
Revising the performances of doctors and staff
Doctors, nurses, and other practice staff and their behavior have significant effects on the patients' experiences. This is because they are the ones who directly communicate with the latter. Therefore, if you are the owner of the manager of a practice it is always effective to reevaluate the performances of the doctors and the staff.
Monitoring the tools, equipment, and facilities
A practice helps facilitate proper care to the patients. Therefore, it is obvious that if the diagnosing tools, testing equipment, and facilities are not up to the mark, then that is bound to disappoint the patients leading to an increase in no shows. Here, regular, weekly or monthly monitoring of the functioning of the medical supplies, practice facilities, tools, and equipment always proves to be a boon, thereby improving the no-shows in your practice and boosting the overall no show rates in healthcare.
Choose GrowPractice to Avoid Patient No Shows
You can always keep this guide handy to help your practice steer away from no shows. The missed appointments or no shows is one of such evils of practice and the healthcare system that it is really hard to get rid of it easily. However, you can choose GrowPractice and remove a considerable number of no shows, which you might have witnessed otherwise.
GrowPractice brings a wide range of world-class medical office software, practice management systems, and solutions that not only take down those disappointing no shows but also help leave a positive patient experience on behalf of a clinic or a practice. So, check our trusted software solutions that are built exclusively for exclusively private medical offices, practices, and urgent care, and up your game in an instant!