No-shows are the plague of every 21st century healthcare organization. It seems that over the years, patients have become worse and worse about showing up for their appointments. A recent study in The Journal of America Osteopathic Association found no-show rates in an outpatient medical organization ranged from 23 percent to 34 percent. In other words, physician practices have to recoup the loss of three or four patients who don’t show up for their appointments each day.
The impact of no-shows on physician practices
Every time a patient fails to show up for a scheduled appointment, everyone in the office is left scrambling to adjust the rest of the day, putting the whole practice behind schedule. No-shows can result in frustration for staff as they try to figure out if a patient is coming and possibly longer waits for subsequent patients if the practice waits for the missing patient, which could reduce overall patient satisfaction scores.
No-shows can result in a lower quality of care and worse health outcomes for those patients who don’t show up. And, of course, those no-shows are extremely costly to the bottom line. For the average medical provider, no-shows cost more than $300,000 a year in lost revenue.
Patient relationship management (PRM) technology is one solution that healthcare organizations are leveraging to change things. The recently released State of PRM Report found that using a PRM platform has a direct and quantifiable impact on the number of no-shows in a practice.
The vast majority — 81 percent — of organizations that use PRM software have a no-show rate of 10 percent or lower. This means that the average medical organization can add around $164,000 each year in additional revenue just by using PRM software. This added revenue more than pays for the cost of PRM technology.
Optimizing your PRM messaging for best results
One of the biggest weapons practices have to fight no-shows is automated appointment reminders. Even after implementing a PRM system and sending automated reminders, there are still ways to make your reminders even more effective. In a recent analysis of 20 million appointment reminders, researchers found when you should and shouldn’t send appointment reminders to get the highest response rates.