Patient no-shows: A big issues for surgical centers

Patient no-shows: A big issues for surgical centers

Anyone who works in the medical industry can understand the impact and the frustration patient no-shows can cause to a medical facility.  Patient no-shows represent big issues for surgical centers nationwide, patients who fail to show up for their appointments represent a significant expense across all offices in all medical facilities. Some experience this at a much higher rate than others, but it occurs consistently; patient no-shows can impact the practice several ways:

  • Empty time slots, the revenue potential fora medical practice depends on the number of time slots available and its ability to fill them.
  • Staffing Imbalance, if you have fewer appointments than expected, it’s like more staff on hand than needed, you will to pay more and have less income for the facility.
  • Quality of Care, if your staff is waiting for your no-show to arrive, it will likely create delays in other areas of your schedule, which means longer wait time for patients that do arrive on time.

We have found the main reasons patients fail to show up for their appointments are for the following reasons:

  • Cost- an unexpected “extra” expense can cause a patient to not showing up for an appointment.
  • Nervousness- patients can be very nervous about an upcoming procedure, to avoid that situation, a caregiver would have to step up to make sure patient is at ease with any upcoming appointment or procedure.
  • Forgetfulness- this can happen when the patient is very busy or suffering from age-related cognitive decline.
  • Transportation- accounts for 67% of patient no-shows, especially for those who can’t drive or have a lack of reliable transportation.

Any medical practice can follow the following five steps to reduce patient no-shows:

  • Implement an effective reminder system. Studies show 98% percent of patients replied via text vs only 20% via email.
  • Schedule appointments at the first available time that is convenient to their schedule.
  • When patients do not show up, simply ask them why. Make note of the reason and put strategic practices in place to avoid any future no-show.
  • Offer incentives to patients who prepay for their appointments.
  • Partner with a reliable local patient transport service, it’s the most immediate action a facility administrator can take. With up to 67% of no-shows due to lack of transportation, it’s a quick way for any medical practice to get some quick wins.

Whether the patient requires long term or short-term care, having a company like Medbridge Transport as part of the care plan team is a smart choice. We specialize in door to door transport and strive to offer a high level of care to all patients.