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Better patient engagement: reduce patient no-shows

May 24, 2020

Manage your customer communication automatically. CGM CONNECTION is a state-of-the-art text, email, and phone communication tool.

Doctor with a phone using CGM CONNECTION

For providers, patient no-shows are a constant, costly source of frustration. Reduce your patient no-show rate with a better patient engagement strategy.

According to a Wallace & Hughes study, about 3.6 million people in the U.S. miss or delay medical care each year. Your average practice has a 5%-7% patient no-show rate, according to MGMA.

Time is money for physicians and a missed appointment is a lost revenue cycle management opportunity.

Reasons for a high patient no-show rate

The reasons for no-shows are varied. New patients tend to be the biggest no-show offenders, but established patients that simply forget about an appointment or don’t call to cancel can also be the culprits.

You may also have a patient demographic that will struggle with transportation to your offices—perhaps low-income patients that don’t have access to cars or elderly patients no longer capable of driving.

Regardless of why the patient doesn’t show up, your practice is taking the hit.

Manage your customer communication automatically. CGM CONNECTION is a state-of-the-art text, email, and phone communication tool.

Following a global pandemic, patients have also become nervous about exposure, so they are easing their concerns by not coming in for appointments that are vital to their overall health.

Using patient engagement to reduce your patient no-show rate

So, how do you help patients commit to and keep their appointments?

Appointment reminder automation is easy with the right technology. You can deliver phone, email, and text message appointment reminders for patients to make sure each one of them is reminded of their scheduled visit. 

Automated appointment reminders use patient-specific elements and two-way interaction (confirm/cancel appointment) to maximize response rates from your patients. In fact, surveys indicate that patients prefer an automated appointment reminder to a live call from your staff.

By using automated appointment reminders, you will:

  • Lower expenses — Automated appointment confirmations are delivered faster and for a fraction of the cost.
  • Gain advanced notice of cancellations — Giving patients the option to cancel through an automated message prevents a potential hole in the schedule and allows you to fill that opening with another patient who needs to be seen.
  • Reduce patient no-shows — Appointment reminder notifications have been proven to lower patient no-show rates by up to 25% making sure you retain your planned appointment revenue!

Reminder tools can also be used to deliver critical updates to your patients, like keeping your patients informed of the safety protocols your practice is taking to keep them safe.

It is up to you to convince and “sell” your patients on the value of maintaining their health. Patient engagement tools can aid in getting those messages delivered.

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