The most common reason behind these No-Shows is – forgetting about the appointment. It occurs mostly in the case of patients who have follow-ups after a long gap, say after a couple of months. Other reasons include domestic inconveniences and sometimes patients do not feel that they need to do the check-up and in some other cases, they feel the need to switch doctors.
But whatever the reason be, no-shows are a huge concern because it reduces the productivity of healthcare facilities. Maintaining a personal relationship with patients and educating them on the losses that hospitals have to incur as a result of patients not turning up for appointments can help reduce no-shows to some extent.
Why do healthcare facilities need to Reduce No-Shows?
Organizing appointments involves a lot of time and workforce. And the revenue of the health facility is dependent on the number of consultations made every day. So when the required numbers of consultations do not happen, it causes a huge loss to the medical facility, including wasting the physician's time.
Apart from the monetary losses, no-shows also adversely affect other patients who were not able to get the slot on that particular day. And some healthcare facilities have visiting doctors who will be available only on certain specific days, so the no-shows in such situations cause more loss to medical care. This is the same for appointments made for certain medical tests such as x-ray, ultrasound and other clinical examinations.
Other than affecting the productivity of hospitals, No-Shows can damage the reputation of a medical practice and get them into legal trouble. When follow-ups are not done post a treatment such as surgery, the patient can, later on, sue the hospital if any complications arise stating that the doctor failed to diagnose it on time. Therefore to ensure a productive service to patients and to progress economically all medical practices need to take the necessary steps to reduce no-shows.
A lot of medical facilities charge patients a nominal fee for not showing up for their appointments, but this strategy does not create a good impression in the minds of patients because nobody likes being punished! And then certain facilities employ staff to call up and remind patients about the appointments. This is a suitable way to reduce no-shows, but it again costs money and work for the facility.
How does a patient engagement framework help to reduce No-Shows?
Patient engagement frameworks can reduce no-shows by notifying patients about their upcoming medical appointments. The effective way to reduce the no-show rate for health facilities is by making use of scheduled appointment alerts. In several surveys and studies, appointment reminders have been proven to reduce no-shows, by a drastic 50 percent. Today appointment reminders have become very common and an integral part of a medical facility. Patients are so familiar with reminder alerts that they have now become dependent on it. Reminding patients not only reduces no-shows but it also makes the patient feel that healthcare facility cares about them. This helps to deepen the relationship between hospitals and patients.
A patient engagement framework ensures a greater patient attendance through –
1. Text Messaging
Everyone uses a mobile phone today which makes text messaging one of the best ways to remind patients of their hospital appointments. Text messaging is a simple yet very efficient way to reduce no-shows. Even when people are at work text reminders fulfil its purpose without being a nuisance. Automated text messages from Booking Social will save you money and enhance patient turnout
2. Reminder phone calls
Automated calls can ensure better patient attendance and save resources and time. With Booking Social's automated voice reminders, hospitals do not have to use up their staff for taking care of appointments. This is very helpful on extremely busy days when you need all your staff to attend to other important work in the clinic. Another advantage of automated calls is that it can be made even during the evening when people are not at work. And this gives them the opportunity to change appointments immediately in case of any inconvenience.
3. E-mail reminder
Since e-mail reminders are also automated, it is also a cost-saving means for reducing no-shows. Since they can be delivered, automatically there is no need for utilizing any staff. E-mail reminders have shown to reduce no-shows by around 35 percent.
A patient engagement framework allows patients to directly make appointments comfortably from home. And moreover, they can also make cancellations very easily through their smart devices without having to call up the medical facility. So they can schedule the appointment on a suitable day and time and at the same time make cancellations without much hassle. Such provisions reduce no-shows to a very wide extent.