Dos and don’ts of patient scheduling

Ring Central Blog


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4 min read

The healthcare industry loses $150 billion per year to no-show patients. On average, clinics and practices have a no-show rate of almost 19 percent. For clinics, that means they lose revenue on almost one out of every five patients. 

Dr. Tashfeen Ekram, physician and entrepreneur, came up with a formula to estimate the cost of no-shows for providers: 

18.8% no-show rate x 21 appointment slots per day x $150 (the average value of an appointment) x 264 business days per year = $156,340.80 per provider, per year

However, that’s only the cost of the patient not showing up for an appointment. Ekram points out that there are other, hidden costs the formula doesn’t cover.

For a start, how many of the patients who don’t show up reschedule their appointments? Anecdotally, we know the number is low. Moreover, it costs your practice time (which translates into money) to book appointments for patients who don’t come in. Studies show that staff spends an average of 8.1 minutes per phone call to schedule appointments, which adds up:

8.1 minutes x 18.8% no-show rate x 21 appointment slots per day = 31.9 minutes per provider, per day 

No matter how large your practice is, you can’t afford to waste over $150,000 per year due to no-show patients. However, there are steps you can take to cut down your no-show rate. Here are a few dos and don’ts to help you streamline patient scheduling and reduce the number of no-shows in your practice.

Dos for Scheduling Appointments 

Download RingCentral’s Patient Scheduling Framework

Don’ts for Scheduling Appointments 

RingCentral: Streamlining Patient Scheduling

The right tools go a long way in ensuring efficient patient scheduling. RingCentral’s HITRUST CSF Certified cloud healthcare communications system helps you reduce the rate of no-shows thanks to features like its automatic SMS notifications. Moreover, small and large practices can implement RingCentral so that they don’t miss patient calls. 

Because the HITRUST Common Security Framework provides organizations with a comprehensive, flexible, and efficient approach to regulatory compliance and risk management, it’s been widely adopted around the world by a variety of industries. RingCentral gives providers peace of mind because it’s HITRUST CSF Certified. Deliver the ideal patient experience. See how cloud communications are transforming healthcare. Get the demo.

Originally published Feb 19, 2020, updated Apr 18, 2021

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