Nurse's Station

4 Things That Happen When You Miss Your Doctor’s Appointment

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  1. Physician Practice Efficiency Sinks

If a patient schedules an appointment and fails to show up for it, physician efficiency sinks. The physician and nurses who were scheduled to see a patient have nothing to do – and the time that they’re wasting could have been used to see other patients with pressing issues.

This is the primary reason that physicians dislike it when patients fail to appear for appointments – the time that they have wasted sitting around for a no-show could have been used to treat another patient, and increase the overall efficiency of their practice.

  1. Patient Care Quality Suffers

Patient care shouldn’t just be thought of as the responsibility of doctors and nurses – patients have a duty and a responsibility to help themselves get quality care. This means making doctor’s appointments in advance, coming to appointments as scheduled, and allowing physicians to do their jobs – by showing up when they’re required to.

Patients who do not fulfill their end of their obligation to their nurses and physicians will suffer from decreased quality of care. If a patient fails to appear for a scheduled appointment, It will be harder to fit them into emergency slots at a physician practice, or they may be sent to another specialist who has an appointment available earlier.

The combination of delays and administrative difficulties caused by patients who do not show up for appointments makes delivering quality care much harder – and the health of a patient may suffer, despite the best efforts of medical staff.

Don’t Miss Doctor’s Appointments – And Try To Help Your Patients Make Theirs

You, as a nurse, likely already know the cost of missing a doctor’s appointment. And if you work in a physician practice or a clinic, you should take necessary steps to help patients make their appointments.

According to Toronto General Hospital, the simple action of calling a patient with an upcoming appointment has shown to dramatically increase patient timeliness – practices that did not remind patients of their appointments had a nearly 25% rate of no-shows, while practices with phoned reminders and email reminders suffered only a 10-12% rate of no-shows and cancellations.

So if you have a problem with no-shows, consider implementing a more robust patient reminder system using modern healthcare IT infrastructure – pre-recorded voice messages, text messages, and emails are all fantastic ways to remind patients of their responsibilities, and increase the quality of care delivered at your practice.

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