Encouraging Patients to Follow Up

You wish the best for your patients, and following surgery or treatment, it is imperative to understand how their bodies are reacting. Obviously this concerns following up at intervals. However, patients are often under the impression that following up is unnecessary and expensive if they feel fine. The cardiac monitor experts at Medicomp take a look at the realities of patient follow-ups. 

  • On average five to 10 percent of patients do not keep appointments. The majority of these are follow-up appointments with the bulk occurring for six- to 12-month follow-up appointments. A typical office loses $150,000 a year because of no-shows. 
  • Patients who keep their follow-up appointments maintain good health and have more positive outcomes in regard to knowledge of how to care for themselves post-surgery or treatment. 
  • Hospital readmissions decline significantly when patients follow up in their care on a regular basis post-discharge. Because every patient is different, their reactions to treatment differ. These anomalies are more readily apparent when the patient visits the physician periodically.

How can your office increase the likelihood of follow up compliance? Many patients give the excuse of lack of reliable transportation as their reason for breaking follow-up appointments while other patients simply forget because they are given one card at the time of their initial appointment and no reminders. To rectify these shortcomings, practices have developed several ideas.

  • Pair up with a local transportation rideshare companies to shuttle patients to and from appointments. With an average cost of approximately $20 to $30, this small investment brings about great returns. Another option may be to contact the patient’s church or other civic organization to ask if they would be willing to drive the patient to appointments.
  • Look into telemedicine for follow-up appointments. Discussing cholesterol levels or checking to see if stitches are healing properly may be a service better provided via a teleconference with your patient. Telemedicine counters the transportation issue while saving time and money for you and your staff since appointments are generally shorter and patients are more relaxed.
  • Send reminder notices a week out to a day out — or both — using the method the patient prefers. Calling all patients will not work if some patients prefer to be reminded via email. 

Keep your patients satisfied and healthy by giving them options for their follow-up visits. When compliance and revenues both escalate, everyone is a winner! Read Medicomp’s blogs for additional information pertaining to patient care and give us a call at 800-23-HEART or contact us online for any questions regarding our line of state-of-the-art cardiac monitors.

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