Alison Nicole HaughtonNovember 14, 2017

Digital Care Coordination Cuts Patient No-Shows, Nets Better Outcomes

According to the CDC’s National Health Interview Survey, 91% of adults own cellphones. Can something as seamless as patient reminders via text or IVR effectively reduce patient no-shows? Improve the quality of care? And lower healthcare spending? The answer is Yes—it’s possible with digital care coordination tools.

Globally, health systems are confronting rising costs, limited resource capacities, and burgeoning patient demands that require providers to more efficiently use clinical resources. Practitioners are being benchmarked against their worst patient outcomes, not their best. Minimizing no-shows can help meet objectives in several ways.

Clinical Cost of No-Shows

national survey on healthcare expenditures estimates that 71 cents of every U.S. dollar spent on healthcare goes to treating people with multiple chronic conditions. With a growing population of chronically ill patients (half of all adults have a chronic health condition), opportunities for clinical interventions are greatly diminished when patients miss appointments or screenings.

Patient no-shows can delay disease detection, impact the quality of healthcare delivery, and increase overall healthcare cost. Consider, for example, a large health system in which the estimated cost per encounter is $167. Say a health system books nearly a million patient appointments per year. If the health system has an average no-show rate of 14%, it’s losing an estimated $25 million annually. All because patients are not keeping their appointments. Can your healthcare organization afford to lose revenue due to no-shows?

Treating the Problem Rather than the Symptom

The de facto mantra for many health systems and providers seems to be, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The fear that the “fix” might do more harm than good is an old-school approach to accepting inefficiency, which is no longer sustainable due to growing market pressures like:

  • Declining hospital beds
  • Decreased government spending on healthcare
  • Hospital closings and consolidations
  • Pricing pressures

The Brave New World of Digital Care Coordination

Healthcare practitioners are re-examining patient-provider workflows and using digital care coordination tools to:

  • Support multichannel outreach and/or inbound patient interactions to improve adherence among chronically ill patients
  • Send follow-up reminders for pre- and post-surgical procedures
  • Create behavior modification triggers and touch-points for patients battling addiction

Patient appointment reminders with automated scheduling can enhance provider-patient interactions, improve physician capacity, and reduce no-shows. In fact, health systems that have centralized patient services report up to a 30% increase in practice revenue.

With Avaya, you can:

  • Ensure each patient interaction is handled as effectively as possible
  • Integrate patient reminders and automate scheduling
  • Increase operational efficiency and staff productivity
  • Integrate with leading EHR vendors to go beyond simply providing appointment reminders
  • Leverage EHR Web services to update schedules in near real time

Are you ready to change the dynamics of patient interactions? To learn more about Avaya’s healthcare offerings, check out

Alison Nicole Haughton

With nearly 17 years of Healthcare IT product marketing experience, Ali has worked across the continuum of healthcare for companies such as IMS Health, Harvard Medical School, Parexel, and variety of early stage healthcare companies implementing m-Health clinical solutions. Ali received her bachelor's degree from American University and master's from Tufts University School of Medicine/Emerson College.

Read Articles by Alison Nicole Haughton


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