Patient Appointment No-Shows – Dealing With It?

April 23rd, 2011

Unquestionably, patient appointment no-shows can play havoc with overall medical practice management: Having a negative affect upon patient care as well as productivity and so finance. Today many medical practitioners are utilising patient appointment scheduling software to deal with no-shows: And for good reason.

Pros and Cons
Over the years various strategies have been undertaken to deter no-shows. Even so, research indicates that a typical family medical practice can experience no-show rates as high as thirty percent – That amounts to a lot of lost revenue. Charging a fee for a missed patient appointment is certainly an option. However, while it can deter regular patients – It can also deter new ones.
Overbooking is another commonplace medical practice management strategy undertaken to deter no-shows: And it can protect revenues. However, overbooking can actually cause more problems than it solves. In addition, it has to be noted that this approach neither deals with no-shows nor deters them.

Patient Appointment Reminder Calls
While patient appointment reminder calls have proven to reduce no-shows, taking the time to make them can be an arduous task – Particularly in a busy practice. Plus, while they may indeed work, one has to balance the cost of staff taking the time to make them (and inconvenience) in comparison to the cost of missed appointments – Pulling staff away from the front desk to deal with this tedious task can negatively affect overall patient care; which is not good for the doctor-patient relationship.

Hence, more and more medical practitioners are turning to patient appointment scheduling software. It is extremely cost-effective. Not only can it keep the pressure off the front desk by dealing with appointment scheduling calls; many appointment scheduling systems can also deal with reminder calls – Ensuring they are made at the right time, on time, every time.

Costs v Results
With patient appointment scheduling software your medical practice can reduce no-shows cost effectively as well as effectively. These systems can multi-task and work above and beyond human limitations which makes them faster, more accurate and comparatively low cost. Some web-based systems can schedule appointments paid in advance. With so many options offering so many solutions medical practice’s can finally deal with no-shows – Which has to be a way forward..

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