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6 Ways Your Appointment Workflow Is Costing You (And How to Fix It)

Posted by Mike Rigert on May 17, 2021 8:30:00 AM

Everyone knows that the COVID pandemic hurt healthcare providers in more ways than one. It led to massive interruptions in patient care that took a direct hit on your bottom line. And for many, that pain persists. According to a recent MGMA poll, nearly half of medical practices report that visit volumes are still below pre-pandemic levels.

But in addition to recovering from the coronavirus, there’s another common source of costly revenue loss that takes a daily toll—a poor appointment workflow. A fragmented or broken workflow as a result of disruptions like no-shows and ineffective patient communication that is continually sapping revenue in the form of empty slots in your schedule. The average no-show rate across healthcare is 18 percent.

The following are six key ways a poor appointment workflow and unproductive communication practices may be costing more than you realize and how to remedy it:

  1. The range of annual revenue loss per provider from disruptions such as no-shows and late cancellations is $150,000 to $300,000. This means you’re not connecting effectively or efficiently with patients during the appointment process.

  2. The loss to projected daily revenue from missed appointments at physician practices is 14 percent. Rather than being an outlier, missed appointments are occurring in volume and on a daily basis. The cumulative effect is a daily schedule filled with holes.

  3. Patients’ desire for phone calls from their provider has tumbled 14 percent during the pandemic. Much like consumer technology trends, phone calls are becoming less preferred by patients and providers because of the speed, ease, and convenience of text messaging. Automated texting allows providers to reach a large number of patients quickly and efficiently.

  4. Eighty-three percent of patients said that poor communication was the worst part of the patient experience in 2020. Patients no longer want to wait on hold or listen to voicemails in order to communicate with their providers. Their communication preferences have changed during the pandemic, and phone calls and emails are less popular ways of interacting with providers.

  5. Providers boosted appointment confirmations by 156 percent by sending automated appointment reminders at a proven cadence. Automated text reminders can turn around your missed appointment figures by ensuring that patients respond to clear and effective reminders to confirm or reschedule appointments.

  6. The estimated revenue savings for the average medical practice per provider by reducing no-shows from 18 percent to 5 percent is $180,000. Reducing missed appointments by using automated text messages to interact with patients at each step in the appointment workflow can dramatically help you recapture revenue.

Automated text messaging and reminders that support a single patient communication and engagement workflow for virtual and in-person visits allow you to successfully interact across the patient journey. This will not only result in improved patient outcomes but it will also enable you to fill your schedule and recoup lost revenue.

For more details on how a poor appointment workflow and missed appointments can impact your practice and strategies on how to turn that around, check out the infographic, “What Is Your Poor Appointment Workflow Costing You?”

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Mike Rigert

Written by Mike Rigert

Mike Rigert has been a content writer in marketing and communications with several technology companies for over a decade. At SR Health, Rigert is tasked with creating compelling content that helps healthcare providers overcome their patient communication inefficiencies to make their organizations more profitable. When he’s not typing away on his computer, he enjoys discussing sci-fi, reading nonfiction, and eating chocolate.