Patient cancellations can be a nuisance, but it can also be expensive.

Did you know that patient cancellations and no-shows cost the health care industry $150 billion a year?

That’s a lot of money! Check out these five strategies to help reduce the effect on your medical practice.

Have a Clear Cancellation Policy in Place

So, you want to know how to reduce patient no shows? First things first, do you have a clear cancellation policy in place? You will want to implement such a policy that clearly states what is expected of the patient within your medical practice.

This will include any fees that they will be charged if they no-show or cancel during a specific time frame. Be sure to have any new patients sign this form and inform all current patients as well.

Reduce Patient Wait Times

Is there something that you can do to reduce patient wait times? Patients who have to wait a long time to see the doctor will more likely no-show or cancel without notice.

A few ways to help reduce patient wait times include:

  • gathering patient information before the appointment
  • make sure certain administrative tasks are properly delegated
  • implement a mobile queue for patients

If you can find areas where you can make adjustments in your day, you can reduce wait times and deter no-shows.

Implement Small Penalties

Regardless of whether your practice deals with outpatient procedures, family medical care, or the new UHPLC, your time is valuable. When it comes to reducing cancellations and no shows, it’s not a bad idea to implement small penalties in order to do so.

You don’t have to fire a patient or stick them with a large no show fee to be effective. A small fee or a conversation about the importance of keeping appointments may be just enough for patients to be more courteous with your time.

Allow Patients to Reschedule with Ease

Another great way to reduce cancellations is to make sure it’s easy for patients to reschedule. Let’s be honest, in the 21st century, fewer people are actually talking on their phones. Nor do they want to be put on hold just to reschedule an appointment.

Consider giving patients an opportunity to reschedule within a patient portal or via a text messaging service.

Automated Appointment Reminders

Speaking of text messaging service, providing patients with automated appointment reminders can decrease the likelihood that they will cancel or no show. Appointment reminder software provides text, email, and call reminders. They also allow patients to reschedule through the software too.

Reduce Patient Cancellations and Save Money

Dealing with patient cancellations and no shows is one of the less appealing parts of healthcare, but it’s a necessity to ensure that your practice thrives. Implementing one or two of these strategies could be just what the doctor ordered.

Did you find this content valuable? Be sure to check our healthcare blog for more great tips to improve your health care facility.

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