Patient no-shows are the physician’s equivalent to getting stood up on a date. Of course, instead of a no-show date simply wasting your time, a no-show patient ends up costing your practice money, and in most cases, big money. It’s estimated that individual physicians lose as much as $150,000 each year from patient no-shows.
With such a massive financial toll, it’s essential to do all that you can to reduce no-shows. However, that doesn’t mean that anything goes, as there are certain things that you don’t want to do just to decrease your no-show rates.
Here are some things you should never consider, as you can actually wind up wasting more time, and worse, damaging your patient relationships and your reputation:
- Don’t disregard patient convenience. Ask when they want to come in.
- Don’t take transportation for granted. Partner with a reputable company like MedBridge Transport, and offer patient transportation support for those in need.
- Don’t allow long appointment delays between scheduling. Scheduling should be fresh in their minds.
- Don’t rely only on reminder phone calls. Consider texts and email, too.
- Don’t overbook appointments. Long wait times lead to patients delaying their arrival time in anticipation or leaving altogether once they arrive.
- Don’t have a flimsy no-show policy. Eliminate wriggle room for chronic no-showers, and post your policy in plain sight.
- Don’t go crazy with no-show fees. Allow a few warnings before incurring fees.
- Don’t fail to show appreciation towards the patients who do show.
Decreasing patient no-shows can be a tricky task, but avoiding these common deterrents will actually serve your practice and your patients better in the long-run.