Health care professionals are continually challenged to provide more affordable, effective and accessible services while operating in an environment of rapid change and complexity. When patients regularly fail to attend appointments that can impact Practice productivity and revenue.
In order to compete and thrive, savvy Practices harness the power that technology delivers to remind patients of their appointments and when preventative health treatments are due. Most Practice Management Systems provide features that will help to reduce ‘no-shows’ and increase patient bookings without much effort.
In the USA its estimated that between 23% and 34% of medical appointments are missed annually. While there is no data available in Australia, there is no doubt that ‘no shows’ continue to be an issue for many practices.
Reducing ‘no shows’
Patient Reminders are used in many practices to reduce the number of ‘no-show’ patients, and the results are impressive. Many modern Practice Management Systems provide SMS or email reminders and by leveraging this technology you will have a positive impact on resource utilisation. Missing appointments can have a negative influence on patients too, because they don’t receive the health care they need.
The format of reminders that a practice uses may impact their success however, some patients prefer a phone call while others are happy to receive an SMS, either way using some type of reminder will reduce the number of missed appointments. Automated reminders are the most efficient and cost effective as no human intervention is required.
Follow-up missed appointment
When a patient does fail to attend an appointment, it’s a good idea to put in place an automated “sorry you missed your appointment” message that contains a link to re-book the appointment. It’s probably not a good idea to send this message to patients that continually miss appointments.
Increase revenue with reminders
Using reminders for things like flu shots, pap smears, annual check-ups as well as children’s vaccinations has been shown to be an effective way to increase patient bookings and provide patients with preventative care. Many Practice Management systems will allow you to run a report and produce a list of patients that are due for certain treatments/services and then send a standard email or SMS reminder, the message can even contain a link to the on-line booking system so patients can make a booking when its convenient to them. Some practices send these reminders in a printed letter, but the increasing costs of postage along with the manual effort required make them a less cost-effective solution.
There are several ways that Practice Managers can use technology to expand their service levels and increase patient engagement with minimal human intervention. We hope this article has provided you with some inspiration, we’d love to hear your ideas however, simply click here to contact us and share your thoughts.
If you would like to know more about Medtech Evolution and how it can help you to improve patient communication as well as practice profitability and efficiency then please click here.