Neil H. Baum, MD, presented “Improving Productivity, Reducing No-Shows” for the Grand Rounds in Urology audience in January 2022.

How to cite: Baum, Neil H. Improving Productivity, Reducing No-Shows.” January 2022. Accessed Jan 2022.

Improving Productivity, Reducing No-Shows – Summary

Grand Rounds in Urology Contributing Editor Neil H. Baum, MD, Professor of Urology at Tulane Medical School, gives advice on how urologists can identify the causes behind and reduce the number of no-shows in their practices. He defines no-shows as patients who miss their appointments without calling ahead of time, leaving expensive holes in a practice’s schedule. Dr. Baum recommends that urologists identify the cause of no-shows in their practice by reviewing the electronic medical record, calling patients to ask why they did not keep their appointment, calculating the number of no-shows on a quarterly basis, and monitoring the trend. He explains that no-shows tend to be self-pay and Medicaid patients, patients with urgencies or emergencies, new patients, and patients given appointments for dates more than 4 or 5 weeks after they call. Dr. Baum then gives several suggestions on how to prevent no-shows, such as creating daily “sacred” time slots in the schedule for new patients, urgencies, and emergencies so that these patients can be seen soon after they call without disrupting the schedule. He also recommends sending automated appointment reminders that give patients the option of confirming, canceling, rescheduling, or leaving a message. Dr. Baum argues that charging no-shows is not a great option, since these fees can be difficult to collect and can create ill-will. Instead, he suggests urologists should consider no longer giving appointments to repeat no-shows. He concludes that preventing no-shows is a proactive process and that urologists should identify and remove the obstacles preventing patients from keeping their appointments.       

For more commentary on practice management from Dr. Baum, visit his Improving Your Urology Practice page.