The Three Best Ways to Help Patients Remember Their Appointments

No-shows are a problem throughout the healthcare industry. They vary from 12 to 80 percent, depending on the local culture, patient age and healthcare setting.[i] Regardless of the number of no-shows, or late-shows, in your practice, you can be comforted knowing that your practice is normal, but you should also be uncomfortable knowing that they are costing you money and restricting the care you provide. You can start taking action today to reduce no-shows. Here are three easy steps.

  1. Create a memorable first impression

Make sure your practice environment—inside and out—is welcoming and inviting. The more enjoyable your patients’ first visit is, the more likely they are to return for future visits. Make sure your front-desk staff members are sincere and friendly. Keep your entire practice spotless. Be the first to say, “Hello.” Be prepared for each patient by knowing their name, why they are there and some personal information. No matter how busy the doctor is, if they give the patient undivided attention for the first 60 seconds of their encounter, the patient will feel the visit was meaningful.[ii] These will all go a long way to creating a memorable first impression and a long-term relationship.

  1. Send multiple, custom reminders

This is the most important step, because a doctor appointment is not the most important event in each patient’s life. Fortunately, you have access to automated tools to remind them when it is time to remember. Brevium provides automated reminders in ways each patient prefers, including emails, texts, live or automated phone calls, and even post cards. You can also send as many reminders as needed and send them when they are most effective.

  1. Create a no-show policy

This is a difficult step when you are trying to create a friendly and inviting office, but no matter how friendly you are, no matter how many reminders you send, some people will always be late or not show up at all. They need clear rules beyond normal social pressure. You can establish the specifics, such as, appointments that aren’t filled within 15 minutes might be canceled, and patients will be charged for missed appointments. Make sure your rules are posted in the office and in reminder communications, so there are not surprises.

Brevium Can Help You Remind Your Patients of Their Appointments

Brevium is an expert in patient retention and the pioneer in patient reactivation. Brevium’s software mines its clients’ patient databases using customized algorithms to improve the patient appointment lifecycle™. Hundreds of practices have found Brevium to be a trusted partner, with personalized training and unlimited support. Through original research and software development, Brevium helps ensure that patients return for the care they need, and practices derive the greatest financial benefit from the patient appointment lifecycle™.

[i] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7280239/

[ii] https://www.aafp.org/pubs/fpm/issues/1998/0100/p51.html

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