Ideally, you would walk into your office everyday and have a packed schedule without any idle hours. All your appointed patients would show up, and all your days would be highly productive.
But we all know that in real life, some patients will cancel their appointments on short notice. Other patients, in some cases, might simply forget about their appointment. As a result, you might find yourself spending several hours each day with nothing to do. Missed appointments can have a significant negative impact on your productivity and profits.
You might not even be aware of it, but no-shows can cost your medical practice a lot of money. Automated appointment reminders solve this problem. Let’s assume for a moment, you charge each patient $100, and you have 10 no-shows per day, you would be losing $1,000 each day. That means potentially losing $240,000 each year! Just imagine what you could do to improve your practice with those extra funds. By avoiding no-shows, your practice would be more profitable without the expense of working longer hours.
No-shows can also make patient wait lists longer. Scheduling each patient can be tricky, and sometimes, they have to wait weeks or even months to get an appointment. When a patient doesn’t show up, you will probably have to reschedule their appointment and make your wait list longer, despite the fact that you aren’t making the most of your work hours. In some cases, extremely long wait lists can deter patients from seeking an appointment with you; sometimes, they will simply seek another physician who can provide the same serviced.
Preventing No-Shows Improves Productivity
By preventing no-shows, you could improve your productivity, increase your profits, and shorten wait lists without having to actually spend more hours at the office. That sounds great, of course. But how are you supposed to achieve this?
Let’s be honest: it’s impossible to prevent 100 percent of all no-shows. Unexpected events and accidents will always happen every now and then. But you would be surprised at how many missed appointments can be prevented by simply reminding each patient about it.
How to do this? Should you tell your staff to manually send out a message to every patient before their scheduled appointment? Depending on the size of your practice and how many people work there, this might mean sending out hundreds of messages each day. Your on-site staff already has tons of responsibilities that are probably more urgent. This strategy would place extra strain on your staff, leading to an overworked, grumpy receptionist.
Hiring New Staff – A Costly Endeavor
Hiring new staff to take care of this task isn’t practical, either. Every new employee requires some time to adjust to their job, and hiring and training a new member of staff is expensive. Hiring a virtual answering service to send out automated appointment reminders is a wise use of time and resources.
Automated appointment reminders are a simple and effective way to drastically reduce no-shows and last minute cancellations. An automated reminder system offers you the chance to send out a fully customizable message to every patient, reducing the likelihood of missed appointments.
Since this service is fully automated, you won’t have to assign this task to any member of your staff. This simple solution will allow you to reduce costs while still increasing productivity. Your office won’t have to experience idle hours without anything to do; instead, more patients will shop up to their scheduled appointments and every hour will be productive. Patient satisfaction will go up as waiting times go down, and your profits will increase. You will also be able to see more patients in the same amount of time.
In case a patient needs to reschedule their appointment, our system also provides an easy way for them to get in touch with a live representative. If a patient reschedules their appointment, that time slot will be available for a different patient. No appointments will be double-booked and patients will have to wait less time before getting an appointment.
Additionally, using an automated appointment reminder service will allow your front desk staff to be able to focus their full attention on their duties. Your office will have a continuous workflow, but your staff won’t have to deal with reminders or rescheduling appointments.
And if you ever need to cancel appointments yourself, this service will also allow you to send out a message to the patients that you were supposed to see that day. These patients will then have the option to reschedule their appointment with you, and being taken into consideration will create a sense of satisfaction despite the cancellation.