Running Head: PATIENT NO-SHOWS 1
PATIENT NO-SHOWS 7
Part 1- shortage of same-day appointments
Shortage of same-day appointments
A recent study found that the number of same-day appointments increased by more than 20 percent in 2019; it also found that the number of same-day appointments decreased by 2 percent overall. This trend is expected to continue in 2022 and 2023 as the economy improves. The shortage of same-day appointments can cause issues with access to care, especially for people who cannot make regular appointments due to a medical condition or an illness (Hussein, Salim & Ahmed, 2019). The lack of availability also impacts those needing urgent care or treatment before making their regular appointment.
As a result, healthcare faces a shortage of same-day appointments. It is one of the significant issues that is facing the industry today. This is because most people don’t have the power to schedule their appointments with the doctor or other health providers on time. They fail to schedule the same-day appointment and then wait several days to get their appointment scheduled again, making them lose out on their treatment. It is estimated that 25% of all patients have to wait for an appointment, which is a considerable amount (Speece, 2019). In addition, the number of patients waiting for same-day appointments will continue to rise because more people are getting sicker and sicker as time goes on. It means that more and more people will need their doctor’s visit at the same time as everyone else so they can be seen immediately.
How to increase the utilization of same-day appointments
Some hospitals have implemented programs that allow patients with urgent needs to schedule an appointment on the same day without waiting until their next appointment time for a doctor or nurse practitioner (NP). Some hospitals are utilizing emerging technologies programs to solve the problem. Some programs use online booking tools such as WebMD Doctor Finder or HealthTap, while others allow patients to make an appointment through a phone call, text message, or email. The methods have been cost-effective since the patients do not have to go to the hospitals physically to book their appointment.
The other way a patient can increase the chances of getting a same-day appointment at their preferred facility is by scheduling appointments during off-peak hours and seasons. For instance, there is a period in the United States when most citizens are outside the country as a tourist. The second way is calling in advance and reaching out to your preferred providers. The process is essential since the provider will provide immediate feedback on the request. It will ensure the appointment with your primary care physician and make sure they have time slots available for you. The third strategy is checking the availability of appointment slots online before making an appointment. Most hospitals’ information is available on their websites for public review.
Balance the provider schedule to raise the same-day appointment
As a result of the shortage of same-day appointments in significant hospitals, some policies and rules balance the provider schedule to raise the same-day appointment in significant hospitals. For instance, major hospitals in the state have different policies and rules to balance their schedules. To increase the number of same-day appointments, some hospitals may provide incentives for more patients interested in same-day appointments, such as free parking and shorter waiting time. Other hospitals may use various other ways like increasing their appointments or offering longer waiting times before a patient can get an appointment with another doctor.
The main reason there is a shortage of same-day appointments is that it is hard for patients who want to get an appointment with another doctor because there are not enough doctors available for everyone. Therefore, even though hospitals may offer incentives to increase same-day appointments, there still exists a shortage of same-day appointments because it is not enough to solve it entirely due to a shortage of healthcare personnel (Pacheco, Cuadrado & MartÃnez-GutiÃ©rrez, 2019). These policies will only help them balance their schedule and offer incentives for more patients interested in same-day appointments, but it does not solve the problem entirely.
Part 2. No-shows
The issue of no-shows
No-shows are patients who fail to attend their scheduled appointment at the time indicated. It can be due to several reasons, including poor planning or simply forgetting about the appointment. As this can lead to cancellations, it is essential to have systems in place to monitor no-shows and ensure they are dealt with appropriately (Marbouh, Khaleel, Al Shanqiti, Al Tamimi, Simsekler, Ellahham & Alibazoglu, 2020). For instance, in poor planning, the patient may fail to book an appointment because they do not know when the appointment is or what time it starts. They may also fail to book an appointment because they don’t realize they need one, such as when they have been away on holiday or have been ill.
The Healthcare staff is vital in managing no-show cases in hospitals. Healthcare staff should always check patientsâ€™ notes and take care of any issues regarding pre-appointment arrangements before they arrive at the hospital. If healthcare personnel deal with a patient who has forgotten about their appointment, they make sure that you write down details about how long ago it was and what steps were taken in response, such as calling them and reminding them of their appointment.
How to minimize no-shows
No-show rates are high in the United States, especially among patients with chronic illnesses. Many patients are unaware of their options for scheduling appointments and therefore do not make them. It is a problem for all healthcare providers because it results in lost revenue, increased expenses, and even loss of life. Hospitalized patients are at a higher risk of declining to return to the hospital than non-hospitalized patients, which can be an essential factor in reducing no-show rates. However, some studies show that the relationship between patients’ decision to return and their likelihood of being discharged from the hospital is not linear. Some patients do not want to be discharged from the hospital regardless of whether they have had a good experience there, while others may be more willing to stay if they had a bad experience.
Hospitals can implement policies and regulations to minimize no-shows in healthcare facilities. First, hospitals may also consider changing their appointment scheduling practices to reduce no-shows and improve patient satisfaction with their care. For example, some hospitals use “wait list” systems that allow patients admitted early or late into their hospitalization events to schedule appointments later. The patient should assess the availability of a doctor if they need additional time with a physician or have questions about specific medications or treatment options. It can help reduce waiting times and improve patient satisfaction because it increases availability by allowing doctors and nurses more time with each patient and their families.
The other way is to use reminders or other methods that make patients aware of their appointment dates and times. Another approach is to provide information about how often people miss their appointments so they know how important it is for them to make one when necessary. By educating patients about no-shows, healthcare workers can help reduce these numbers significantly and improve patient satisfaction (Dantas, Fleck, Oliveira & Hamacher, 2018).
Dantas, L. F., Fleck, J. L., Oliveira, F. L. C., & Hamacher, S. (2018). No-shows in appointment schedulingâ€“a systematic literature review.Â Â Health Policy,Â Â 122(4), 412-421.
Hussein, W. M., Salim, M., & Ahmed, B. (2019). A prototype mobile application for clinic appointment reminder and scheduling system in Erbil city.Â Â International Journal of Advanced Science and Technology,Â Â 28(1), 17-24.
Marbouh, D., Khaleel, I., Al Shanqiti, K., Al Tamimi, M., Simsekler, M. C. E., Ellahham, S., … & Alibazoglu, H. (2020). We are evaluating the impact of patient no-shows on service qualityÂ : risk management and healthcare policy,Â Â 13, 509.
Pacheco, J., Cuadrado, C., & MartÃnez-GutiÃ©rrez, M. S. (2019). Urgent care centers reduce emergency department and primary care same-day visits: a natural experiment.Â Health policy and planning,Â Â 34(3), 170-177.
Speece, J. (2019). Reducing the impact of same-day missed appointments.Â Â Journal of the American College of Radiology,Â Â 16(6), 824-829.
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