Most busy physicians know the pain of cancellations and no-show appointments. It can be the most frustrating aspect of owning a medical practice. No-shows can cost your business a great deal of money if you aren’t careful. But perhaps the most surprising thing is that most of those no-shows are for follow-up appointments. Patients seem to be weary of the reason behind follow-up appointments. Moreover, some just don’t think they need it at all. So, what can a medical practice do to keep the no-show rates low? Here are 3 tips to increase physician follow-up appointments.
1. Use an online appointment scheduler.
Many medical practices use some form of online appointment scheduling, but it is important to choose the right platform. Many patients dislike phone call reminders, so the best way to be sure you aren’t offending your patients by enabling them to schedule, confirm, reschedule and cancel appointments online. Some may prefer an email a few months before, but then again, some may prefer a text message a few weeks before the appointment. A good online scheduler can help you meet the demand of 70% of consumers that want to self-schedule, confirm and reschedule appointments 24/7/365 and to receive the confirmation and reminder of their choice.
2. Don’t book patients too far in advance.
We’ve all been there. The dentist’s assistance asks you when you want to schedule your next appointment 6 months from now. The problem is, you have no idea what your schedule will look like at that point in time. Then, 5 months and 29 days later, they call to remind you that your appointment is tomorrow. This is a surefire way to increase the chances of a no-show. Instead, EZnet Scheduler can enable you to offer patient self-scheduling. The software can be configured to send reminders to them that they need to schedule a follow-up appointment. Or, if a patient actually wants to book ahead, you can use EZnet Scheduler to schedule recurring appointments for the patient, with each appointment generating automatic reminders and confirmations via text, email or phone call. The choice is theirs, and they will appreciate the convenience.
3. Go virtual.
One of the big reasons patients don’t show for a follow-up appointment is because they don’t find it necessary. However, it is standard protocol to assure that everything from the recent visit is going smoothly.
Enter: virtual follow-up appointments. This could be the modern medical practice’s saving grace. Most people have ten minutes during their day to chat with their physician on their computer. This saves everyone time and money.
Following these 3 tips to increase physician follow-up appointments can take your medical practice to a whole new level.