3 Simple Strategies to Reduce Patient No-Shows

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No-shows are expensive. For medical professionals, the average cost per patient of a no-show is $200 according to a study published with the National Institue of Health. With an average no-show rate straddling 20% for medical appointments, no-show rates cost family practitioners hundreds of thousands of dollars and hostpitals millions of dollars in annual revenue.

As a result, many medical professionals implement a fee for no-shows but penalizing patients for forgetting about an appointment engenders distrust and animosity against your practice and creates a poor reputation for your practice as a primary care provider. With a few simple steps, you can increase patient retention and boost patient satisfaction with your practice's administrative processes and increase your bottom line, essentially flipping a lose-lose situation into a win-win scenario.


1. Automate Patient Appointment Reminders

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As an industry that likes to use cutting edge technologies to treat and care for patients, we often neglect the administrative processes that ensure patients make it through the front door of our practice in the first place. While the technology our doctors use are sleek and streamlined, the tools available to practice managers are often clunky and unintuitive. Practice management is often seen as a less vital piece of overall care and gets much less attention.

If you haven't updated your internal systems to send out regular reminders where your patients pay attention, it might be worth taking another look. With sms text reminders that integrate with your calendars for a seamless reminder service, you might be missing out on low-hanging fruit that can boost revenue and productivity. These days, reminder services will automatically extract your patients' contact information like their names, emails, and phone numbers and add them to a que for scheduling at convenient times that you can define in a non-obtrusive way. Test out a service that does just that here.


2. Follow-up with Missed Appointments

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Missed appointments happen. How you deal with them separates your practice from the pack. By sending an automated text or email reminder to reschedule, you allow your patients the opportunity to get the care they need while letting them know you know how busy their lives are.

The way we prefer to be reached is changing. With sms text reminders and follow-ups garnering most of our attention, we've evolved to be more receptive towards short messages that nudge us rather than to push us to do things. Using an automated service to arrange these messages, frees you from the tedious task of reminders and follow-ups so you can focus on being present with patients when they're actually in your office.


3. Thank Patients That Make Their Appointments

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By showing appreciation for the patients that show up on time, you build a stronger bond with your patients. Thanking patients also encourges them to continue to show up on time for future appointments and gives them an incentive to be on time.

An even better way to show appreciation and continue to provide stellar care for your patients is to follow-up with them at regular intervals. By combining a thank you message from a previous appointment with a reminder to book another appointment for recurring treatments, you can provide your patients with the best post-care experience and enhance their overall experience which will ultimately boost their mood when they're in your office making for a merry environment at work for all.

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