Appointment Attendance; Statistic Shocker

  • By admin
  • 18 February, 2014
  • Comments Off on Appointment Attendance; Statistic Shocker

How many of your patients fail to turn up to their appointments? If it is anything like the national average then the answer is a lot of them! The actual statistic is that around 20% of all patients miss a scheduled appointment, which not only wastes your time but can mean increased waiting times for other patients. So what can you do to reduce these numbers?

 

Prompting Service 

Generally, if an appointment is booked in advance people tend to forget about them almost entirely. This means that unless they have taken note of the time and date, they are likely to miss the appointment. You can employ an SMS text messaging services to send out prompts closer to the time of appointment. A simple text can drastically increase the percentage of patient attendance, just by reminding them that they have an appointment.
This is much easier, faster and cheaper than having to call every patient individually. With an automated system, all you need to do is ensure that the dates are correctly stored in your calendar with the patient’s details.

Receipt of Appointment

Another variation of this would be to charge a small fee for booking an appointment, with the amount being reimbursed on attendance. This has several incentives to ensure that patient attendance increases. People won’t want to financially lose out, something that the surgery would gain from, and the receipt would remind them of the time and date they need to be there.

The problem with this comes as many people would be so reluctant to pay the fee that they may not book an appointment in the first place. Tracking attendance and reimbursing the amount would also create a lot of extra paperwork and could be difficult to monitor.

 

Invite to Calendar Appointment

With the introduction of smart phones and online calendars, it has become very easy to synchronise appointments. All you need to do is send your patients a calendar appointment which will then be synchronised to their email calendar and therefore their smartphone. Closer to the time of appointment the calendar will then notify them, giving them time they need to get there.

Problems arise with elderly patients or surgery’s operating in poorer areas, as they generally do not understand the technology or own smart phones meaning that this cannot be used. Before trying to roll this out it would be very useful to find out how many of your patients would be able to use this. In many situations it may be more ideal to simply use a SMS text messaging service rather than complicate things with excess technology.

To find out more about how an SMS service could benefit your practice talk to us today or check out our website for more information.

Categories: News, SMS, Uncategorized

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