How to reduce no-shows with data

Posted by Daniel Collins Wednesday, April 27, 2016

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According to a 2014 study by the Journal for Healthcare Quality, no-show events are “common, costly and potentially preventable.”

It goes on to explain that a typical no-show appointment for an outpatient clinic can cost a practice up to $210 per event, including both the cost of the appointment and the cost of the disruption. It also found that certain services (particularly patients with lower income) had show rates of < 50%. 

Later in the report, the authors contend that reducing no-shows is the “best way a healthcare organization can save costs and increase revenue, while positioning itself to provide quality care to its patients.”

But how? Can booking online and sending reminders improve show rates?

First, it is critical to remind a patient of their appointment. For clients where we’ve turned on automated appointment reminders there is greater than a 10% lift in attendance rates. We’ve also seen in practices that having shorter lead times between appointment booking and the actual appointment will drive show rates even higher.

Using the above as guidance, it is possible to proactively intervene to reduce no-shows. But some no-shows are still going to happen no matter what you do. At this point, you have to consider double booking – but the question is when to double book? This is when it is critical to have a high quality forecast of whether or not a patient will show. Key factors are often patient demographics and appointment types, things you cannot control. 

Ultimately, double booking patients that are 50% likely or more to miss an appointment allows you to maximize value while limiting disruption. Leveraging data analytics with a view into probabilities can help your organization reduce no-shows. 

To learn more about how online scheduling helps reduce lost appointments read our free report: Improving Health Outcomes and Reducing Lost Appointments.

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Topics: Completion Rates, Patient Engagement, Data Analytics

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