Missed medical appointments plague the healthcare industry.
Unattended sessions cost the sector billions each year, and can have a significant effect on your own practice. Some medical practices have been known to experience no-show rates of 50%, although, typically, evidence suggests that urban clinics tend to see non-attendance rates of around 15-30%.
From the missed office payment to the cost of overheads, the impact of failed attendance varies from practice to practice, but is always going to have a negative effect on profit margins and your ability to care for patients. But why aren’t people attending their medical appointments and treatment sessions?
We Are Inherently Forgetful
In a research study aimed at acquiring data on exactly why people were failing to attend their appointments, a range of different excuses were given by no-show patients. While small samples stated reasons such as feeling better or no longer wanting to attend, the most common reason cited was simple forgetfulness.
This is not a surprising factor. The average adult is thought to forget three things a day. Modern lifestyles, hectic schedules, and personal commitments often mean items like medical appointments get forgotten.
While this is bad for business, it’s also good news as well. It means that most people are not intentionally hampering your success, but, instead, there is an innocent reason behind their non-attendance. By supporting these individuals, and reducing opportunities to forget appointments, you can secure a brighter future for your healthcare practice or service. So how can you do this?
Reminder Software Reduces No-Show Rates
Appointment reminder services are designed to do exactly that: remind patients or clients of upcoming medical appointments or treatment sessions. Reminders can be sent to contact information in the form of phone calls, text messages, or emails. The system is structured in a way that means healthcare organizations can automate their software, allowing them to send reminders without an excessive time investment from clinicians, practitioners, and other members of staff.
But is this kind of tool actually effective?
Research into reminder services has discovered that, when used by clinics and practices, appointment attendance rates rise by up to 36%. Given that many appointments are missed due to forgetful behavior, this makes perfect sense.
As a further benefit, the software enables your customers and patients to submit responses such as reschedule requests; this makes it much easier for them to inform you of an inability to attend, allowing you to fill unused spaces. Without direct reminders, it is likely many will simply fail to acknowledge their upcoming appointment and leave your practice in the dark.
Why It Works
Why is the system of automated reminders so effective for increasing attendance rates? The answer is simple: Because of its ease of access and use. 95% of Americans own a mobile phone.
The result of this statistic is that reminder services are capable of easily reaching almost every member of your customer base. Once the message gets to them, they are made aware of their appointment schedule, which has a direct impact on attendance. Multiple appointment reminders can also be employed, especially for repeat no-show offenders, and messages can be sent over a variety of platforms to ensure complete coverage.
With forgetfulness being the primary driver behind the highest volume of no-shows experienced by clinics and healthcare businesses, tools that reduce the chances of that happening are always going to help support better outcomes for your practice.
This post has been sponsored by ReminderCall
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