The average practice sees no-shows rates as high as 20 percent. No-shows can drastically reduce revenue and waste everyone's time and energy. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help alleviate no-shows.
EnVision Family Eyecare, located in Tennessee, is a full service eye and vision care provider. The hours the team spent on the phone contacting patients took away from their ability to provide personalized attention to each patient. The practice decided to implement Solutionreach in order to dedicate more time to the patient experience.
Tish Gilbert and the rest of the staff at EnVision Family Eyecare wanted a solution to the large amount of time spent on appointment reminders and recall messages.
“We wanted something to save on the time it was taking to do recalls and daily appointment reminders,” says Tish. “We had one person trying to do it all, and having her tied to the phone for hours every day wasn’t working.”
The practice had one staff member who was responsible to make all the appointment reminder phone calls each day, and once a month she spent an entire day contacting every patient who was due for a follow up appointment.
“Just the appointment reminders took her an hour every day,” explains Tish. “But once a month she would contact patients to schedule recall visits, and that was pretty much an all-day event.”
Since implementing Solutionreach, appointment reminders only take about 15 minutes a day to complete.
“At the end of the day, we go through and see how many patients have confirmed their appointments for the next day,” says Tish. “She only calls those patients who haven’t confirmed, so it takes her between 5 and 15 minutes to make the calls.”
Not only do appointment reminders take less time with Solutionreach, the practice is also seeing about 50 percent fewer no-shows.
“We send appointment reminders two days and two hours prior to the appointment,” says Tish. “That two-hour reminder makes the biggest difference! We have so many people who tell us they would have forgotten about the appointment if we hadn’t sent the reminder.”
The two-hour reminder also gives Tish enough time to fill a last-minute cancellation.
“Some patients will call us when they receive the reminder two hours before their appointment to let us know they can’t make it,” Tish states. “But with two hours notice, I can usually fill the appointment. We probably fill about four last-minute appointments each month, which is anywhere from $200 to $500 in revenue. And without Solutionreach, our patients wouldn’t have thought to call us, so we wouldn’t have known to rebook it!”
The real time savings for EnVision Family Eyecare comes from the automated recall messages. A process that used to take an entire day is now something that takes about 30 minutes.
“Solutionreach sends the recall messages now,” states Tish. “The patients can either click a link in the email asking us to call them to schedule an appointment, or they request an appointment online and we book it that way. It’s generally very easy, and we don’t have to think about recalls a lot.”
All the extra time has been beneficial for the patients at EnVision Family Eyecare too. Since the staff at the front desk no longer have to spend hours on the phone every day, they can spend more time connecting with patients who come in for their appointments.
“We like to keep a small-town feel in our practice,” Tish says. “We like to greet every patient by name, and remember something specific so we can talk to them as if they’re an old friend. And most of our reviews have shown we’re doing a pretty good job with that.”
The practice sends a post-appointment survey to each patient after a visit, and encourages them to leave a review for the practice. Tish reads each review and makes a point to recognize individual staff members who are named.
“Anytime a patient mentions a staff member by name, it means that person really made an impact on their visit,” Tish explains. “I print out the review for that person and the doctor to see, and they are recognized in our weekly meeting. This also helps incentivize everybody else to go above and beyond when they are interacting with patients.”
EnVision Family Eyecare also takes advantage of the ability to send group messages in the Solutionreach platform.
“If the doctor is sick or we have bad weather, I’ll set up a group message to let the patients know,” Tish states. “Most patients appreciate the group message because I can send it as soon as we know there will be a delay or closure. To be able to send one quick email and have it go to everybody saves me time.”
And for Tish and the rest of the staff at Envision Family Eyecare, saving time is a priority.
“Solutionreach has made a huge impact on the efficiency and time-management in our office, not to mention cutting costs,” says Tish.
To find out more ways to reduce no-shows, read our free guide.