How to improve your patient no-show in the imaging department

How to improve your patient no-show in the imaging department

The imaging department has one of the highest patient no-show and reschedule rates, with one study suggesting that it could be as high as 35%. Meanwhile, failure to keep it under control can lead to a wide range of issues, from lost revenue and delayed patient care to underutilized staff and resources. 

 

If your hospital or medical facility is dealing with high patient no-show and reschedule rates, you need to know the reason behind this trend. But to give you an idea, there are common denominators that mobile CT scanners rental fleet provider Catalina Imaging has noticed: 

  • Financial anxiety 
  • Lack of communication between the patients and their doctors 
  • Failure to understand the procedure instructions 
  • Lack of transportation
  • Incomplete pre-authorization requirements 

 

Knowing the reasons for patient no-show is critical for creating policies and measures to reduce this costly problem that the radiology departments usually face.

 

How to reduce patient no-show 

As an industry leader with more than 50 years of combined experience in maintaining a mobile imaging rental fleet, Catalina Imaging has come up with this list of tried-and-tested recommendations.

 

Create an effective patient reminder system 

  • Ask your patients about their preferred method of reminders (e.g., email, text, and call).
  • Set up automatic reminders one week before the scheduled procedure, two days before, and one hour before the appointment. But for appointments that are scheduled more than eight weeks in advance, additional reminders become even more critical to reduce patient no-show rates. 
  • Allow patients to reschedule their appointments to fill the vacant spot and avoid underutilized resources and staff. 

 

Follow a streamlined pre-authorization process

  • Ideally, there should be a team that is responsible for imaging pre-authorization. 
  • Train this team and teach each member to have a sense of accountability. 
  • Create a system that immediately resolves pre-authorization delays and makes it easy for patients to reschedule their appointments. 

 

Promote constant communication with patients 

  • Ask patients or have them answer a survey to know their preferred method of communication. The idea here is to meet them where they are. 
  • If the language barrier is an issue, schedulers should mention that in the patient records. 
  • Create electronic medical records that your patients can access independently. 
  • Staff should explain the prep instructions and ask the patients about their concerns (finance-related, length of procedure, etc.)

 

Streamline your collection system

  • Ideally, require partial payment early on to increase the likelihood of full patient obligation. 
  • Be transparent with the prices so the patients will know the price estimates and prepare for them. 

 

Provide transport service 

  • Surveys have shown that transport barriers cause a significant number of patient no-shows.
  • Offer transportation services or partner with ride-sharing service providers. 
  • After implementing any of the measures mentioned above, continue tracking the no-show rates to assess whether they are effective or not.

 

Solving the Dilemma Created by the No-Show Patient

When your patients don’t show up for appointments, it extends your waiting list and wastes your resources (especially staffing). For this reason, you need to implement measures that limit the number of no-shows and reschedules. 

 

Another way hospitals and medical facilities can maximize their resources and avoid revenue loss is to partner with a reliable mobile CT scan rental fleet provider. At Catalina Imaging, we not just provide technical insights but also 24/7 customer support for service emergencies and full-service OEM contracts between 8 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday (except holidays). 

 

To learn more about how our mobile imaging fleet can meet your short- and long-term needs, contact us here. You can also text or call us at (844) 949-1664 or email us at info@catalinaimaging.com

New mobile CT scanners use lower radiation dose

New mobile CT scanners use lower radiation dose

One of the reasons some patients are apprehensive about getting their CT scans is the radiation exposure. Fortunately, some scanners nowadays use lower radiation doses but are still able to provide a more detailed, accurate image. 

 

For instance, at Catalina Imaging, we manage a fleet of mobile CT scanners from reputable tech companies like Toshiba, GE and Siemens. Not only does our equipment use lower radiation doses, we also have a 24/7 customer service team to answer your inquiries and provide you service emergencies. To learn more about our mobile CT scan rental service, contact us here or call or text us at 844-949-1664.

 

Modern medical imaging procedures and radiation risks

Despite the publication of some sensationalized articles about the radiation and cancer risks with medical imaging procedures, health authorities like the American Association of Physicists in Medicine believe that today’s technology uses radiation that is too low that the perceived risks “are barely detectable or even nonexistent.”

 

In 2005, experts also conducted a study in which they observed DNA repaired themselves after CT scans.

 

The problem with sensationalistic articles about medical imaging procedures and cancer risks is that it discourages some parents and patients to undergo a much needed CT scan testing, preventing their doctors from diagnosing an internal injury or disease and treating them soon. 

 

While it’s important to only perform medical procedures that are necessary, stoking fear of radiation is not the right way to reduce the number of unnecessary procedures. 

 

It’s important to evaluate objectively the statistical risk of developing cancer caused by radiation versus skipping a medically required CT scan. For instance, one study suggested that for every 1,000 children who do not undergo medically necessary imaging radiation, around 200-250 will die because of lack of proper diagnosis and treatment. 

 

By contrast, the perceived increased risk of cancer over a patient’s lifetime from a single CT scan is almost imperceptible, just a mere 0.03 – 0.05%. In short, a medically necessary CT scan does not represent a direct risk to a patient. 

 

Ways to further reduce the radiation exposure 

For hospitals and other medical facilities, the first step to reduce the radiation exposure is to partner with a mobile CT scan rental provider like Catalina Imaging that offers the latest medical imaging technology. 

 

These are the other things that can further minimize radiation risk to patients: 

  • Only use imaging medical imaging techniques when there is a clear medical benefit. 
  • Image only the indicated area.
  • Use the lowest amount of radiation; for this reason, children should receive a lower dose than adults because of their smaller body frame. 
  • Avoid multiple scans. 

 

Final Words on CT Scan and Radiation Exposure

With newer CT scanners that use a lower dose of radiation, a medically necessary imaging procedure does pose a very minimal or even a non-existent cancer risk.

 

In the US, over 80 million CT scans are performed every year, making them one of the most popular medical imaging procedures in the country. 

 

If you want to learn more about low-dose CT scan or you need a reliable CT scan rental provider that can meet your facility’s long-term and temporary needs, Catalina Imaging offers a fleet that’s located in California, Minnesota, North Carolina, and Illinois.