Text Messaging Increases Satisfaction and Reduces No-Shows

September 16, 2015


Eskenazi Health in Indianapolis, Indiana is one of the largest safety net health systems in the U.S., providing care to nearly a million outpatient visitors a year. Some of its 38 multispecialty clinics were experiencing no-show rates for office visits of up to 40 percent.

Parveen Chand

Parveen Chand

“One of our clinics, which you would think would have a high show rate for patients, would be our cancer or infusion clinic,” says Parveen Chand, Chief Operating Officer of Eskenazi Health. “And even in that model, we had a no-show rate of appointments as high as 10-12 percent. It’s an issue for any practice, let alone a multispecialty practice.”

Relative to other hospitals in the Indianapolis market, Eskenazi’s no-show rates were substantially higher, but compared to other safety net hospitals across the country, the rates were closer to the norm, according to Chand.

To compensate for patients who didn’t show up, the clinics overbooked. Chand gives an example of an orthopedic clinic that routinely booked 110 appointments a day, hoping 65 patients would show. Physicians and staff were unable to prepare adequately, not knowing which 65 patients would come in on any given day.

Contributing to the problem, patients were difficult to reach by phone because the system frequently lacked up-to-date contact information, or patients did not respond to appointment reminder calls.

The solution? Reaching out to patients via text messaging. According to Pew Research, “young adults, Hispanics, renters and the poor (as defined by the U.S. Census Bureau’s poverty thresholds) are all far more likely to be cell-only.” So if you’re a safety net hospital like Eskenazi, it makes sense to reach out to patients via text messaging, and that’s what they did.

Read our new article to learn how Eskenazi used the healthcare relationship management platform from HC1 to dramatically reduce its no-show rates and the need for overbooking, as well as achieve better continuity of care and improved patient satisfaction: Text Messaging Helps Safety Net Hospital Connect with Patients and Reduce No-Shows by 25-30 Percent.

Best regards,
Jane Weber Brubaker

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