For any clinic, the bottom line is influenced by nothing more profoundly than DNA rates.
No, we’re not talking about genes here, but rather focusing on the Did Not Attend rates at clinics. This is the rate that focuses on the number of patients who don’t turn up after fixing an appointment.
Now, DNA rates are directly linked to a medical business’s bottom line and influence the profitability of the establishment. But what is it that makes people miss appointments they themselves have fixed? And what are the steps that clinics can take to ensure DNA rates don’t climb up?
These are some of the many questions we’re going to tackle in today’s discussion. So, make sure you stick around till the end.
What Is DNA Rate?
But before we dive deep into the intricacies of why DNA rates can climb up, let’s first take time to understand what DNA rate means in the first place. This is an essential KPI that determines the financial performance of any medical business.
Put simply, it denotes the number of patients who fix an appointment but don’t actually turn up for it. This essentially results in a patient slot being wasted, which leads to a loss of revenue for the business. For example, if 10 patients book appointments with a doctor, and then 3 of them fail to turn up, this results in a DNA rate of 30%.
Here, it must be kept in mind that when patients who’ve taken an appointment cancel it in advance, this is not always considered in the DNA rate calculation. The time gap before which patients cancel must also be taken into account. High DNA rates naturally harm the bottom line of the business, because the fixed costs of running the business have to be borne despite whether patients cancel or not.
Common Reasons For DNA Rates Shooting Through The Roof
But why would patients miss appointments once they fix it? Strangely enough, it’s been seen in multiple studies that people actually do forget to turn up for their medical appointments. This can be due to forgetfulness on their part, or even on account of pressures of daily life.
Another reason patients may have to miss their appointments is due to workplace commitments that suddenly come up. The last-minute meeting, that sudden deadline, and the extra workload given by the boss can also lead to appointments being forgotten.
However, it’s not always that patients forget their appointments due to work. Personal commitments can also come in the way. And then, there’s the most common reason for not turning up: patients feeling that their symptoms are subsiding, and they are getting better.
Any of the above reasons can be enough to cause the DNA rate of a clinic to become higher than expected. However, there’s still hope, for a number of measures can be taken to reduce the DNA rates. This is what we’re going to discuss in the next section.
What Can Be Done To Bring It Down?
As we’ve already mentioned, there are a number of methods to bring down DNA rates. Of these, the most common is to send patients a reminder at least 24 hours in advance. Such reminders can be sent via call, text messages, or even email. This will of course vary on a case by case basis.
Another step that can be introduced is applicable in the case of those patients who repeatedly fail to turn up. They might be requested to confirm their appointments 48 hours beforehand, failing which the same could be cancelled.
Perhaps a rather extreme, but nevertheless effective step would be to introduce a monetary penalty for repeat offenders. All of the above can help in bringing down DNA rates. However, the best is to maintain constant communication with the patients, thus ensuring that they don’t forget to attend their appointments.
DNA rate is just one of the many KPIs that a clinic needs to pay attention to. And KPeyes is your best bet in keeping tabs on all essential metrics that evaluate the performance of your business. With detailed analysis, reports, and visual representation, our expertise can help your business shine.