3 June 2019
Missed appointments are not a new phenomenon, they have been a big thorn in thousands of businesses for many years now. No shows not only contribute to lost revenue and missed opportunities, but they effect the efficiency of the business and end up costing businesses millions.
The problem of missed appointments is highlighted no more so than within the NHS. They report that more than 15 million GP appointments are being missed every year, which accounts to around one in every twenty appointments being missed.
Every appointment costs the NHS an average of £30, which puts the total cost of missed appointments every year, more than £216 million pounds.
However, these stats are just for GP missed appointments, unfortunately the problem is even more costly for NHS hospitals.
– 8 million hospital appointments were missed in 2017/18
– Every hospital appointment costs the NHS approximately £120
– That means almost £1 billion worth of appointments missed
– Equivalent to 257,000 hip replacements or 990,000 cataract operations
“Every appointment at a GP practice is precious, especially at a time when GP services are struggling to cope with rising patient demand, staff shortages and inadequate budgets.”
Dr Richard Vautrey, the BMA’s GP committee chairman
However it is not just institutions and businesses that are frustrated by a ‘no attendance’, genuine customers also get annoyed by missing them. So it is in the interest for all parties to solve this problem.
Thankfully there are solutions to reduce no-shows.
SMS reminders offer a convenient and cost-effective way to remind customers and patients and are used in many industries not just healthcare. By combining the text reminder with an SMS Landing Page, businesses can encourage further retention by utilising the ‘add to calendar’ button.
Enabling customers to add their appointment to their default calendar application really strengthens the effect of SMS and in return will reduce missed appointments further.
The convenience, familiarity and personal approach of SMS communication makes it the perfect device and method for this type of message. SMS receives an astonishing 95% open rate, with 90% of all text message being read within the first 3 minutes (Source Gartner).
“Not only have we seen a much better response from our candidates, but setting up the landing pages for our staff to use has been extremely easy too!”
LAW STAFF LEGAL RECRUITMENT
We work with several healthcare providers to help implement a mobile-first or multichannel approach to help them improve their appointment reminders and reduce no shows. If you would like to find out more, please do get in touch.