I’m sure that we have all heard the old saying that time is money. If this adage could apply to any industry, it would apply best to mental healthcare. When providers have missed appointments on the books, it not only causes practices to lose money, but it also represents time that could have been spent assisting other patients. With a tremendous need for therapists and clinicians offering mental health assistance, missed appointments not only hurt a practice economically, but they negatively impact a society with patients who desperately need healthcare, but may not always be able to receive it when its impact could be most pivotal.

But how do you actually go about making sure that, at the end of the day, your appointments are all kept? Let’s take a look at a few ways!

 

1. Scheduling

To keep your waiting room full and your office occupied, scheduling is key. The easiest way to effectively keep up with patient scheduling is to have an application that does it for you! Such applications can provide appointments at a glance, divided by daily, weekly or monthly scheduling to keep things simple. Clinicians may have this information at their fingertips with a simple click, allowing for a quick and easy method to keep track of a patient’s appointments.

2. Patient Reminders

And what could possibly be the best way to ensure that patients remember their appointments?  Making use of online applications to remind patients of their appointments is a very successful way to reach out to them about their upcoming appointments. In fact, a recent study even shows that a practice sending out patient reminders may expect to see over a 25% reduction in missed appointments.

3. Engagement

There are many ways that applications can assist private practices, and one of the best is through patient engagement. Therapists may select surveys, questionnaires and screenings that can be downloaded onto the patient’s smartphone, tablet or computer, allowing for an interactive way to tap into their therapy, even between office visits. Engagement can work as a catalyst in ensuring that a patient keeps their office appointments. After all, they’ve already put work into their therapy while in the comfort of their own home, so the obvious next step is to have their responses evaluated at their next office visit.

 

With new applications that can assist with scheduling, patient reminders and engaged therapy, we can restore the importance of keeping appointments. As we begin to make these technological advances part of our daily routines, we will be welcoming in a new age of more efficient clinical practices, with fewer no-shows on the books and more opportunities to raise mental healthcare awareness.

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