How To Reduce No-Shows In Healthcare Immediately

How To Reduce No-Shows In Healthcare Immediately

Reduce No-Shows In Healthcare Immediately

If you’re wondering how to reduce no-shows, you’re not alone. No-shows are one of the most frustrating parts of running a hospital or healthcare practice, with missed appointments resulting in wasted time and resources. But how can you reduce your no-show rate for good? What is it that makes patients no-show in the first place? And what exactly are the costs to your practice or organization?

Let’s start by exploring 10 helpful methods for how to reduce no-show appointments in your practice.

Table of Contents for How to Reduce No-Shows

1. Use Telemedicine to Reduce No-Shows to Single Digits

Telemedicine has proven to be an effective tool in reducing no-shows in healthcare. This digital solution allows patients to be seen by a doctor from the comfort of their own home. This convenience factor is a major reason why patients are more likely to show up for appointments when they are able to see a doctor via telemedicine.

One whitepaper showed that patients who used telemedicine were more likely to rate their overall experience as good or excellent. This is likely due to the increased convenience and accessibility of care that telemedicine provides. When it comes to the question of how to stop no show appointments, these two factors go a long way while also promoting patient retention.

At Mend, our technology has helped hundreds of organizations reduce their no-show rates to less than 4%. This is significant considering that the average no-show rate across the globe is 23%. For a 25 provider practice, that means $1,715,616 per year in lost revenue if no-shows continue.

2. Allow Patients to Self-Schedule

Another way to reduce the number of no-shows is to allow patients to self-schedule their appointments. Eighty percent of patients surveyed want online patient appointment self-scheduling. This way, patients can choose a time that works best for them, and they’re more likely to keep their appointment.

Self-scheduling also allows patients to schedule appointments outside of normal business hours. This can be especially helpful for working parents or people with busy schedules.

If you’re looking for an easy way to reduce no-shows, patient self-scheduling is a great option.

3. Set Up Appointment Reminders

One of the best ways to reduce appointment no-shows in healthcare is to remind patients of their upcoming appointments. This can be done through phone calls, text messages, or email. Many appointment reminder services are available that can automate this process. 

At Mend, we have a robust appointment reminder system. This includes multiple touchpoints to eliminate the possibility of patients forgetting their appointments. These include smart text, email, and phone call reminders. This process is integrated with your EHR/PMS. The reminders are sent in the patient’s preferred language of care.

4. Use an Attendance Predictor to Reduce No-Shows

An attendance predictor can stop no-shows before they happen. This machine learning algorithm predicts which patients are most likely to miss their appointments. Once the machine predicts at-risk patients, it tailors its appointment reminders. These reminders either encourage the patient to confirm their appointment or reschedule.

5. Make it Easy for Patients to Cancel and Reschedule

If you’ve been struggling with how to reduce no-shows, one thing you can do is make it easy for patients to cancel and reschedule appointments. This means having a flexible cancellation policy and providing multiple ways for patients to reschedule. A recent survey showed that 80% of patients now put a premium on convenience factors like texting, self-scheduling, and rescheduling and would have no difficulty switching to another provider if it’s more convenient.

Some things you can do to make it easier to cancel and reschedule appointments include:

  • Allowing patients to cancel or reschedule online or via a mobile app
  • Having a 24/7 call center where patients can cancel or reschedule appointments
  • Offering same-day or next-day appointments for those who need to reschedule

Making it easy to cancel and reschedule appointments won’t eliminate no-shows entirely, but it can help reduce them. At Mend, ​​our telehealth scheduling system makes it quicker and more convenient for patients to modify their appointments 24/7/365. 

6. Digital Forms = The New Appointment Confirmation

Digital forms may also help to reduce no-show rates in healthcare. By switching to digital forms, you can make it easier for patients to fill out their information and submit it prior to their appointment. 

Mend customers report that when patients complete their forms they are far more likely to attend. We’ve found an 86% completion rate for our digital forms. Sixty-eight percent of patients complete the forms within an hour of receiving the text and/or email. Seventy-five percent of patients complete the forms within the same day.

By using online forms, patients can confirm their appointments with a click of a button. Patients can also fill in their medical history, as well as know what to expect for their upcoming appointment. This reduces the number of no-shows and also ensures that patients have the information they need for their appointments.

7. Get Patients Invested in Their Care 

One way to reduce the number of no-shows is to get patients invested in their care ahead of time. This means providing them with information about their condition, treatment options, and what to expect from their appointment. Patients who feel like they are part of their care are more likely to show up for their appointments.

At Mend, we don’t just connect with patients before their appointments. During virtual appointments, we connect patients with the first-ever Netflix-style waiting room. Here, patients can view educational videos in just a few clicks. Not only will they be able to get healthier while they wait, but this technology has also shown a 23% increase in patient satisfaction.

8. Request Patient Payment Before the Appointment

Another way to reduce no-shows is to require patients to pay for copays before they come in. This shows a patient’s commitment to coming and will help ensure that there’s less of a chance they’ll back out. Let patients know the consequences of not showing up to their appointment. If a patient knows that they’ll incur a fee or that their insurance won’t cover the cost, they are more likely to attend.

Practices can easily manage digital payment with telemedicine solutions. For example, Mend’s digital check-in process handles patient co-pays as well as consents, digital forms, and more. This occurs automatically for both in-person and virtual visits.

9. Explore Digital Check-In Options

Research suggests that digital check-in processes can help to reduce no-show rates in healthcare settings. One study found that implementing a digital check-in process reduced no-show rates by 30 percent among pediatric patients. 

Other research has shown that digital check-in processes can also lead to reduced wait times and improved patient satisfaction. These two factors alone may help reduce patient no-shows.

Offer Incentives

Another way to reduce no-shows is to offer incentives for patients who do attend their appointments. This could be something as simple as a discount on future services or a gift card. Incentives help patients see the value in attending their appointment and make it more likely that they’ll show up.

It’s also very important to follow up with patients who do miss their appointments. This gives you an opportunity to find out why they didn’t show up. Plus, you can see if there’s anything you can do to prevent it from happening again in the future.

10. Understand the Typical No-Show Patients and Why They Miss Appointments

There are a few different types of patients who are more likely to miss appointments. Some patients may have transportation issues or be unable to take time off work. Others may simply forget their appointment or be too busy to make it. Lastly, some patients may not be able to afford the care they need.  

Whatever the reason, it’s essential to try and identify which patients are more likely to no-show so you can take steps to prevent it. Some ways a practice can achieve this is by following up with patients via a phone call or sending a survey.

For example, a practice may find through feedback that many of their patients no-show due to transportation issues. If you know that transportation is an issue for some of your patients, see if there’s anything you can do to help. Maybe your organization can suggest a ride service or help them arrange for public transportation.

How Much Money Do No-Shows Cost an Organization?

When a patient misses their appointment, it doesn’t just affect their overall well-being or continuity of care. No-shows have a serious financial effect on the practices and organizations. 

In a recent study, it was estimated that no-shows cost healthcare organizations approximately $150 million per year. That number is expected to rise as the population ages and demand for healthcare services increases. 

There are a number of ways to reduce no-shows, but it’s important to find the right solution for your organization. To understand the impact no-shows are having on your practice’s bottom line, use our convenient tool.

How Much Money Do No-Shows Cost the Healthcare System?

It’s estimated that no-show appointments cost the healthcare system billions of dollars every year. That’s why it’s so important to find ways to reduce the number of patients who don’t show up for their appointments. 

How to Reduce No-Shows Today

No-shows are a significant problem in healthcare, but there are ways to reduce them. By using appointment reminders, attendance predictors, and offering incentives, you can decrease the number of no-shows at your practice. You can also reduce no-shows by being flexible with appointment times. You may also offer patients the option to reschedule if they cannot make their original appointment. Implementing these tips will help you see fewer no-shows and have a more successful healthcare practice.

If your practice is struggling significantly with missed appointments, taking on the task of decreasing no-shows can feel daunting. The good news is that many of these simple but significant changes are achievable through digital solutions. 

Eliminating costly missed appointments and creating a streamlined workflow is simple with Mend. All you need to do to reduce no-shows is request a free demonstration. After that, we’ll walk you through integrating these various elements into your existing system. If you’re ready to say goodbye to the no-show nightmare, schedule your demo below.

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