Stop Patients from Flaking with These Proven Strategies
Published by Abby Arend on
Thu, Jun 03, 2021 @ 13:06 PM
It's no secret that missed appointments are a source of frustration to every eyecare practice. Missed appointments waste staff time, disrupt your workflow, and ultimately cost you money. Dealing with cancellations can also be tricky since you want to be accommodating to your patients' needs and conflicts.
While it's true that not every no-show can be avoided, there are effective ways to reduce the number of no-shows in your eyecare practice.
Tackling No-Shows in Your Eyecare Practice
Use a Patient Portal
Make the process of scheduling and going to an appointment easier for your patients with a patient portal. An effective patient portal allows patients to fill out pre-exam paperwork before they even enter the office. This increases efficiency in your practice because your patients are able to include things like medical history and insurance information, as well as a questionnaire to get your patients thinking about specific questions they might want to ask during their appointment. Not only does this help the pre-exam portion of the appointment go quicker, but it makes your patients feel like they are prepared for their exam.
Get to Know Your No-Shows
A study by Chip Hart and the Pediatric Solutions team shows that "the strongest predictor of a patient no-showing their appointment is a history of missing appointments." If your patient already has the required paperwork filled out, they may be more likely to attend the appointment because part of the work is already done for them. Furthermore, those chronically missed appointments are coming only from 10% of families. Knowing this statistic will help hone strategies for this demographic.
More tips based on Hart's findings:
Avoid making a blanket policy when it's really just a small segment of your patients who are consistently missing appointments.
Consider restricting appointment scheduling to same-day, or only one-day-ahead for chronic no-showers.
Don't focus your efforts on reducing no-shows for a certain day of the week/time of day/season. It's more about your policy than your timing.
If you know particular patient no-shows frequently, consider double-booking the time slot in anticipation of them not coming. That way you won't miss out on income by having an empty spot in your schedule.
Many practices use automated appointment reminder systems. Consider additionally and directly contacting that small percentage of your patients who are most likely to no-show. A handful of calls today could fix a problem tomorrow.
Click the link below to learn more about the Uprise features that get patients through the door: