It is very common in clinics and offices, cases of patients who have an appointment but end up not showing up without even giving notice. This fact, called absenteeism, can lead to the most varied troubles, not only to the missing patient but also to the doctor and others because that time that was left on the agenda could have been filled by someone else.
Let's look at five of the most common reasons for these absences and how to fix this problem:
1 - Forgetfulness
When scheduling a patient, the ideal is to confirm subtly if he already has an appointment on that date and time. After scheduled, the patient can also be remembered with a call, SMS message, or even Whatsapp, which can be sent one or more days in advance. To assist in this important task, the market today has management systems for clinics that have specific functionalities for this, such as Ninsaúde Apolo.
These applications trigger SMS to patients automatically confirming or canceling appointments, bringing positive results and reducing the number of absences in your clinic. In addition to confirmation via SMS, Ninsaúde Apolo has confirmation via Whatsapp, where the status of the appointment is also updated automatically according to the patient's response.
2 - Unexpected events
It is common for unforeseen events to happen, thus causing the patient not to attend an appointment at the clinic. It is necessary to make him aware even in the act of scheduling, that whenever possible, he should contact him to warn him about any unforeseen events so that in this way the health professional's schedule does not have vacant schedules.
3 - Patients who ignore the return
The patient's return is a crucial moment for the health professional to evaluate the results obtained since the last consultation, and thus conclude or continue the treatment.
However, a large number of patients miss the return because they think it is not important, or that their health problem has already been solved. Therefore, it is always important to emphasize to the patient that he must attend the return appointments, as these are as important as a normal consultation.
4 - Location
Many appointments are made online or over the phone, which means that the patient is not always aware of the location of the clinic. Various setbacks may arise, ranging from the lack of parking space to not finding the address. For this reason, it is important to remind the patient not only of the appointment but also of where the clinic is located.
Some software provides e-mail marketing functionality, which allows the clinic to schedule messages for patients who have an appointment, as is the case with Ninsaúde Apolo. In addition to reminding him of the scheduled time, you can send the location by attaching Google maps, in addition to making the registration form available for him to fill out at home, speeding up the process at the reception.
5 - Long waiting period at reception
Unfortunately in some cases, the clinic itself may be responsible for the patient's failure to attend the consultation. One of the examples in which this fact occurs is when the patient comes to the clinic, but due to the delay in being seen, he ends up leaving. This is because, many health professionals attend in different places throughout the day, generating delays.
Fitting many patients in a short time between times without first evaluating the estimated time of each appointment is also not a good idea.
When you realize that there will be a delay of more than 30 minutes, contact the scheduled patients, explain the situation, and offer the option to reschedule. Also, the patient should feel comfortable while waiting for care.
We know that today with social networks on the rise, not always magazines and TV can distract patients. So, a good option would be to provide a wi-fi connection for entertainment.