The Intake

Insights for those starting, managing, and growing independent healthcare practices

How patient text messaging reduces patient no-shows

Using text based reminders can improve patient no-show rates and reduce cancellations.

improve cadence scheduling in healthcare

At a Glance

  • Patient no-shows and cancellations cost practices as much as $7,500 per month.
  • A proven scheduling reminder cadence (3 days prior, day before, and the day of) can improve appointment use and increase revenue.
  • Automation tools can reduce the burden of maintaining a cadence on staff.

Patient no-shows and cancellations cost practices as much as $7,500 per month, according to a report from Tebra. Automated reminders sent at a regular cadence can make a significant positive impact on patient no-show rates and scheduling — and make your practice more profitable. 

Many patients are prone to forgetting upcoming appointments and commitments. A whole 59% of patients surveyed reported cancelling or not showing up to a healthcare appointment in the last 12 months, according to Tebra. And as a busy practice, it takes time for your staff to call every patient a day before their appointments to remind them. With the help of digital tools, you can ensure they attend, while eliminating this task for your medical staff entirely.

Use a cloud-based, automated patient text messaging system designed for medical practices to send messages — and make sure to choose one that integrates with your scheduling system. 

Once that appointment is on the calendar, sending automated patient appointment reminders via text on a proven cadence (3 days prior, day before, and the day of) can improve appointment use and increase revenue for your practice.

Download the report

While it’s common for patients to book their medical appointments online — and 67% of patients say they prefer to do so, according to Zippia — scheduling often still happens in person or over the phone. If this is the case, offer them multiple time slot options so they can select the one that best fits their schedule. This will increase the likelihood of them showing up. In person, give them a physical reminder card. In addition, let them know they’ll receive automated reminders by text, email, and/or phone.

Cadence scheduling via text messaging, or offering patients option to text a doctor, has multiple advantages for patients and practices alike. Patients receive the modern, digital experience they’ve come to expect, and practices improve the long-term health of their business through reduced no-show rates. 

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Michelle Meier, freelance healthcare writer

Michelle Meier is a freelance writer with extensive experience writing about B2B/SaaS, digital health, and US healthcare. Her passion for writing about healthcare stems from an interest in health equity, addressing SDoHs, and improving access to care for all. She enjoys working to further the conversation about key issues impacting the healthcare landscape today. She lives in New York.

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