By Stericycle Staff | May. 08, 2015

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Does this ever happen to you? Your morning starts with a completely packed schedule but by noon, your calendar looks like Swiss cheese, with a high number of patient no-shows putting major holes in your day and a waiting room full of unprepared and late patients.

Swiss cheese is for sandwiches, not for waiting rooms, and especially not for a healthy bottom line. Did you know that radiology leaders estimate most practices have between a 2-5% no-show rate? Though that may sound small, holes here and there can add up to a big revenue gap. Just think: if you average four no-shows a day, you stand to lose almost $150,000 a year!

Regardless of why no-shows happen, be it patients forgetting about their appointments or not having an understanding of why the appointment is important, these holes mean missed revenue opportunities, frustrated staff and unsatisfied referring physicians—all impacting your revenue at the end of the day.

The good news is that by improving the way you communicate with your patients, you can help decrease your no-show rate and continue capitalizing on revenue-generating appointments. Here are three easy things you can do to accomplish this:

  1. Standardize your scheduling process: With a seamless, consistent scheduling process, you can make it easy for patients to make appointments and actually show up when referred by another physician.
  2. Leverage automation: By automating the reminders you send to patients before their appointment, you can make sure they’re receiving the information in a convenient way that’s meaningful to them. For example, send patients reminders via text, email or automated call—whichever method works best for them—and have a live voice standing by to help if needed.
  3. Look at your overarching strategy: Having communication solutions in place is great, but putting a strategic plan in place to guide patient communication will help you provide added value to your patients and protect your bottom line. Partner with a patient communication expert to develop and execute this strategy for the most success.

Madison Avenue Radiology Center is an example of an organization that recognized the impact no-shows were having on their bottom line. They partnered with Stericycle Communication Solutions to automate their patient communication and appointment reminders, utilizing some of the tips listed above.

If you want to see how Stericycle Communication Solutions can help your organization, schedule a demo with us today.


Author: Stericycle Staff

Stericycle has been delivering communication services to North American companies for over 25 years. Since 2011, we’ve been blogging about how to deliver best-in-class communications to patients and consumers – providing practical advice and current best practices for both healthcare and commercial organizations. We hope you enjoy and keep reading!
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