Have you ever thought about why patients are missing their appointments? How do you handle a no-show patient or how do you start to understand the problem? Most medical practices are not even aware of the rate of the missed patient appointments. Some doctors do not even take the time to assess the data as it relates to their patient visits, identifying the trends that stem from the problem.
Doctors have to try and understand that this problem is huge. They also need to understand the specifics as it relates to the process involved when patients are making appointments. To get a better idea of why this is happening, you should:
· Analyze up to six months of data, spotting multiple trends
· Which one of your patients is missing their appointments the most?
· What times during the year is this happening more often?
· What dates and appointment slots are more noticeable?
· When do you notice the highest rates of no-shows?
When you have collected the necessary data, it is time to begin identifying the underlying cause of the problem. You have to find a way to enhance the experience that patient have with your practice. To do this, you have to provide an easy way for them to make appointments and stick with the appointment.
If the receptionist at the front desk is failing to remember calling patients for appointment reminders, then it is better to use an appointment scheduling service to book those appointments and do the necessary follow up. The service will provide help when patients want to not only schedule their doctor’s visit, but also when the need arises to cancel appointments.
There are several problems that account for most no-show doctor’s visits. One of the problems is doctor – patient communication or the relationship between patient and front desk. New patients especially may feel slighted and unimportant because of the possible lack of communication from the doctor’s office. For patients with the feeling of a closer connection to their doctor and staff, missed appointments should be less. It is important then to take time to develop a rapport with patients through ongoing communication, making them feel important enough to receive a phone call about their appointment.
If a patient missed a doctor’s visit, have the appointment schedule service contact the patient to find out why and how it can be resolved. If it has to do with the long wait time, then at least, the doctor will know and take measures to change this. Therefore, to solve this problem once and for all, it probably is best that you consider hiring an appointment scheduling company. Make sure it is a company that also offer follow ups and reminders.