Long Wait Times Mean Procrastinating, Especially When it Comes to Colonoscopies

With the dramatic decline in patients visiting their healthcare providers during the nearly two years of COVID-19, gastroenterology practices have been seriously impacted. Patients already dread booking and completing the procedure and the added concerns of COVID-19 have augmented patient hesitation but putting this off can have major consequences for both patients and providers.

Colon cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the US for men and third for women. Yet, when detected early, there is a 90% five-year survival rate but that drops to just 14% when discovered in later stages. Utilizing screening methods like colonoscopies can ultimately reduce the risks of this cancer developing past the point of treatment options.

Getting patients in the door is crucial to their health but also can impact your business's revenue. Missed or empty appointments can lead to uncollected revenue, which compounded over time can become sizable dollars.

Those empty spots are costing your practice more than you realize

When patients fail to schedule an appointment, that can be a major driver in missed revenue. When a patient doesn’t arrive for their appointment after scheduling it, this creates an empty spot that another patient could have booked.

There is typically a considerable amount of time between when a patient engages to schedule and the date of their appointment. Gastroenterologists are no exception with an average wait time of 26 days. According to the same study, patients who have to wait for a month are twice as likely to cancel and never reschedule. Wash, rinse, repeat – you’re going to get stuck in a never-ending cycle.

Determine the areas where dollars could be recouped

No shows and canceled appointments aren’t the only issues that may be impacting revenue. Overwhelmed and overloaded call centers could be a bottleneck when it comes to scheduling as well. Long hold times and waiting for a call back can also deter patients from booking.

Patients are often required to schedule appointments during their own working hours. Managing work while attempting to find enough privacy to book a sensitive procedure, like a colonoscopy, presents a huge challenge. If they manage to make the initial call but have to leave a message and wait for a callback, they’re forced to repeat the process.

Providing a solution for patients to schedule appointments when and where it’s convenient for them will result in more bookings. Just like other modern conveniences, Orbita’s AI-powered chatbot solutions allows patients to book their colonoscopy conveniently and easily, within seconds. Calculate the ROI Orbita can provide your practice by boosting utilization, acquiring new patients, and easing the burden on your call center.

Learn more about our colonoscopy scheduling program