How A No-Show Follow-Up Can Benefit Your Medical Practice

A doctor doing a no-show follow-upIf someone commits to coming to an appointment, it is reasonable to expect them to arrive. But life happens, and people may be unable to follow through on their commitments. In the medical industry, patient no-shows are quite common. Unfortunately, the consequences of not showing up to appointments affect not only your practice and other patients but the person who did not keep their appointment as well. This is why a no-show follow-up is important.

Reasons For Patient No-Shows

There is a plethora of potential reasons for not showing up for appointments. But some people end up doing it more frequently than others.

By looking at a patient’s healthcare records, one can often discern those who frequently miss healthcare appointments. In this case, a medical virtual assistant is imminently suited for monitoring this type of patient. They can get in contact with these patients frequently beforehand and reduce the risk of a no-show. In so doing, none of your in-house staff need to take time out of their day to deal with this task. This leaves them free to continue with other tasks in your practice.

Common reasons for patient no-shows that result in a no-show follow-up may include:

  • A patient may have sought the services of another provider if they felt the waiting list was too long.
  • The patient may have a fear of doctors, procedures, or clinical settings.
  • A patient may be unable to pay for the appointment.
  • Weather conditions may play a role.
  • Transportation may have played a role.
  • A patient may have encountered a sudden family or work crisis.
  • They forgot about the appointment.
  • Miscommunication.
  • Childcare issues.

The Repercussions of Not Showing up For Appointments

A patient not showing up for appointments affects the efficacy of your practice. Sometimes not showing up could impact their health, especially when undergoing prolonged treatment. It also affects your other patients, taking time that could have been used by someone else. A no-show follow-up explaining the consequences of their actions may help reduce the risk of their not honoring future appointments.

Impact On Your Practice

Whether a large, specialized practice in a city or a small, general practice in a small town, patients not showing up for their appointments has an impact on your practice.

Of course, there is the monetary consideration: a time slot not filled by a patient means a loss of revenue. But it also impacts your ability to provide necessary care to other patients who could have been slotted into those times.

Impact On Other Patients

Patients often wait a long time to see their healthcare provider. By not showing up for an appointment, the no-show has taken up a time slot where someone else could have seen their healthcare needs provided for at an earlier time. This is especially important for those with serious health issues.

Impact On The No-Show Patient

While a patient may have a good reason not to honor their commitment, not showing up for an appointment could impact their health. They could delay needed medical care until it becomes much harder to manage. If the patient was due for a follow-up, missing the appointment could have an impact on their treatment plan. But doing a no-show follow-up may result in rescheduling the missed appointment and continuing the treatment plan.

Doing A No-Show Follow-Up

Doing a no-show follow-up has benefits for both the patient and the practice.

As a healthcare provider, doing a no-show follow-up expresses your concern for your patient’s well-being and allows them to make another appointment. This allows for a continuation of their treatment plan and healing process. It also allows you to find out whether there were issues on the side of your practice. These could include too long waiting times or miscommunication issues. Knowing the issues means you can do something about them.

A no-show follow-up can happen through the use of text messages, emails, or telephone calls. A text message is the most impersonal form of communication in this scenario, however. A personal telephone call from a medical virtual assistant may prove most effective. A medical virtual assistant can address the patient personally while having relevant medical information at hand. This allows them to underline the urgency of continued medical support if the patient is on a dedicated treatment plan, for example. It will also allow them to highlight the importance of keeping further scheduled appointments and making these bookings.

A professional, dedicated medical virtual assistant from Cool Blue VA has the skills needed to proactively work with your patients while handling a no-show follow-up.

Reducing No-Shows

Reducing no-shows means you need to take a proactive approach before the appointment date. This includes the following possibilities:

  • Hiring one person, such as a medical virtual assistant, to oversee all aspects of appointment setting, including handling a no-show follow-up if needed.
  • Send personalized text messages, emails, or voice messages to patients to allow them to confirm their appointments.
  • Allow patients to pick their best times for appointments instead of fitting them into the first available slot that fits the practice.
  • Let patients know they matter by sending them relevant information about their health condition.
  • Contact patients after an appointment to see how they are doing.
  • Have patients on a shortlist and call them if you have cancellations.
  • Book repeated no-shows during a time that has less of an impact on the efficient running of your practice.
  • Consider doing double bookings during times when you have a booking for a repeated no-show.
  • Make sure patients know you appreciate them showing up for their appointment on time.
  • Thank patients who cancel and reschedule.
  • Consider a no-show policy and make sure it is visible in your waiting room and that you send it out to all patients before their appointment.

How A Virtual Assistant Through Cool Blue VA Helps Manage Your No-Show Follow-Up Process

It is a fact that your practice will get a fair number of patients not showing up for their appointments. And, as a healthcare provider, it is expected that you should still keep the health and well-being of these patients at heart. To do so, one should ideally implement a no-show follow-up process. The best person to do this should be someone dedicated to this task. This frees in-house staff to focus on other necessary tasks in your practice.

A Cool Blue VA medical virtual assistant is the perfect person to take on this task.

The majority of our virtual assistants have some type of medical background. Furthermore, they are HIPAA trained. This helps ensure that patients’ confidential information stays safe at all times. What is more, our virtual assistants do not work within an in-house practice setting. These professionals can work from anywhere and at any time. They can even work outside your practice’s office hours, but when your patients need someone to contact. And as to payment, we bill you for the hours worked and take care of the rest. You do not have to worry about time off due to illness, bonuses, or any of the other considerations you would need to take care of in an in-house setting.

Contact Us Today!

If you would like to know more about how a professional virtual assistant from Cool Blue VA can help with your no-show follow-up process, or about the diverse services we offer, please call us today! You can contact us at 714-695-8000. We will gladly answer any questions you may have!

We look forward to pairing you up with the perfect medical virtual assistant who will seamlessly slot into your practice’s workday and processes.

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