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Scheduling new patients: the cost of being slow?

November 20, 2018

In this post, we share a short video by our president and CEO, Bob Baurys. (It is part of a series that focuses on best practices of our Patient Awareness-to-Activation Process.)

Today, Bob talks about how fast your organization needs to be to be responsive to consumers, and how to understand your positioning and why it’s so vitally important.

First, with regard to our data set, this is 12 months worth of data from a leading IV hydration center, and it consists of over 8,600 scheduled appointments. The offer is a free IV, for your first visit. However, 62% of these patients end up paying an average of about $60 upgrade charge from a basic IV to a more complex IV, effectively neutralizing the cost of acquisition. What’s the most important factor for these new first-time clients? It’s speed. It’s availability. If you book the same day, you can expect 60 to 65 percent of those patients to actually show up and engage your services. That drops by the second day into the 45 percent range, and you could see it tails off to where you’re only one out of four will show up, if you book them eight to ten days out, or further.

We view this in the context of a lot of our retail-based medical consumer models. So let’s take a quick look at the math of not being quick and being responsive to new patients.

Assuming you are spending $100 for a new patient booking, if you book that patient the same day, you can assume (based on our historical show up rates) that the true cost of that appointment is about $150. If you book it four days out, it goes up to $238. It’s a big difference.

So let’s carry that thought process down on the $100 per appointment cost for a new patient.

If you’re spending $12,500 a month assuming that same $100 booking, if you book the same day patients, you will get about 163 sales opportunities, during that month. But if you wait four days out, and put them later in the schedule, you can assume that it’ll only be about $105 sales opportunities. That’s a big number. Here lies the secret to enhancing your business’s probability without doing a single thing, except being responsive to new clients. If a new client is worth $2,500 a year, and you book them the same day, instead of waiting four days, you will increase your revenue by $402,500 per year. I think we got your attention now.

“So, my takeaway from this to you,” Bob summarizes, “is that you need to understand the positioning your product, and then you need to make it very convenient, very responsive to the clientele that fits your product and service the best. Don’t try to be everything to everyone. There’s enough business between these markers for most medical models to not only survive, but also prosper.”