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 firstname.lastname@example.org.