Appointment cancellations and patient no-shows are big issues faced by the healthcare industry. When patients cancel their medical appointment it means that the practice will lose revenue which will have a negative impact on their financial health. Healthcare organizations have been trying to address this issue by deploying technology solutions such as the Patient Scheduling EMR Software system. The robust patient scheduling platform enables patients to schedule their appointments online empowering them and helping providers to keep their schedules full.

Patients want hospitals and clinics to leverage digital solutions so they can seamlessly have the access to book appointments through their smartphones. This can elevate patient satisfaction scores. When patients can schedule appointments themselves providers also improve patient engagement levels which can close any gaps in care.

4 Reasons why patients cancel appointments with their provider and solutions

  1. Fear and pre-appointment apprehension can lead to cancellations – Many patients are fearful before their medical appointment which can make them cancel their appointment. Fear of the unknown is big, they might be not prepared to hear a piece of bad news regarding their deteriorating health condition. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of cancellations from the patient’s end increased due to fear of catching the deadly virus. During a global pandemic, it makes sense that practices use the Telemedicine platform to offer remote care services to their patients. Fear levels can also be reduced by letting the patient know what to expect during their visit to the doctor’s office. According to research published in 2020, 51 percent of healthcare organizations are investing in virtual care solutions to extend care.
  2. Increased financial costs – Patients in the US are concerned about the high financial expense that need to be paid for healthcare. Many patients neglect the treatment because of the high cost of care. It is the clinic’s responsibility to educate each and every patient about the financial options they have, this can help reduce the number of appointment cancellations.
  3. Difficulty in appointment scheduling – According to studies people in the US have hectic work schedules. When there is the absence of scheduling convenience patients in the first place refrain from making appointments. Medical practices can deploy intuitive patient scheduling software to streamline the booking process.
  4. An increase in waitlists – Sick patients don’t want to wait a long time before getting an appointment with their urgent care provider. Longer waitlists and a lack of appointment availability frustrate patients which increases cancellation rates altogether. To optimize the scheduling process practices can use the virtual care platform to see more patients in a day. Automated waitlist software can also assist staff members in effectively filling canceled appointment slots with patients who want an immediate appointment with their provider.

Moving Ahead

Understanding the barriers to medical appointments can help practices deploy the right strategies. This can keep schedules full and help patients receive care at the right time which can ultimately improve patient outcome levels.