Patient no-shows are, unfortunately, inevitable, though they’re not your biggest scheduling problem. Of course, even one no-show is too many, but the reasons are varied and often overlooked entirely.
Your average healthcare system has a patient no-show rate of around 5-10%. With small clinics, that rate jumps to 20-30%. Then, you also have to account for variances relating to everything from practice specialty, to appointment type, to geography, the time of year, and on, and on. There are simply far too many factors to consider, so you have to focus on those that you have the ability to control.
One thing we can to do better understand patient no-show rates is break down two of the most common misconceptions:
- Patients need more appointment reminders – Health care providers will never be able to eradicate no-shows. They will always happen, and while automated, actionable reminders are certainly helpful, the fact is that too many reminders can actually turn patients off. Aside from the added work for your staff, patients receiving constant reminders will eventually unsubscribe, and then reminders are useless. Don’t get us wrong - reminders are important but try to remember that less is more in this care.
- No-shows are a greater problem than cancellations – For most practices, this isn’t even remotely true. No-show rates average around 5-10%. Cancellations, however, are a much greater issue, as they tend to average around 20%, not to mention the effect high cancellation rates can have on your reputation.
Once you start breaking down the bigger issues relating to no-show rates, you’ll start to understand ways to better communicate with your patients and meet their needs (as well as your own). With a bit of patience, you can employ real strategies to help your patients not only make their appointments but want to make their appointments.
At MedBridge Transport, we are proud to be a part of those practical strategies that truly do help you reduce no-shows and cancellations. Contact us to learn more.