As much as the medical practice is hinged on offering professional medical advice and care to the public, it is still a business. It relies on appointments by patients to pay staff. And like any other business, you are bound to have a few no-show patients every week. It can be quite frustrating but it is the nature of the healthcare service.
Question is, have you ever thought of the cost of no-show appointments? In this article, we unpack the question and also give you the benefits of an automated appointment confirmation system.
For you to provide a solution for the no-shows in your medical practice, you must first have an appreciation of the cost. Here is a small guide that can give you an indicative figure that can run from the hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. We recommend that you use data from a two-week period to do the following calculations.
- First, you will need to establish a base cost figure to work from. The key one in this calculation is the average cost of each appointment. Using the practice’s books, sum up the total revenue from the two-week period (only from filled appointments) and then divide it by the number of appointments.
- With the help of the administrative staff, get a count of the number of missed appointments over the same period.
- Do the multiplication of the figures, the average cost of each appointment * the number of missed appointments. This will give you the amount of revenue that you have lost over the two-week period.
- We are not done yet. The final calculation will need you to extrapolate that figure and get an annual figure.
You should be aware that the final figure that you attain is not as comprehensive. There is the mental fatigue that the no-shows cost both you and your staff. The final figure also does not take into consideration the wasted hours spent by the staff reminding them via phone calls.
The solution to all your problems lies in an automated appointment confirmation system. Our patients typically have packed schedules. Some have two to three jobs. Add in childcare responsibilities and traffic jams, and you can see the issue.
An automated appointment confirmation system can serve as an effective way for patients to notify the doctor of any possible cancellations. With this information, the administrative staff can reschedule these appointments early enough to slot in other patients. There will be very few wasted hours by the staff. The reduced mental strain on the whole team means that better service can be offered to each client.
Once you see how big the issue of no-shows is, you can come to appreciate the effectiveness of this solution.
As a medical practice, you cannot afford to be losing such amounts of revenue annually. There is an efficient solution that can keep your diary full all year long. Make use of an automated patient reminder system.