Five ways to reduce your DNA rate

Missed opportunities are one of the key contributors to strain on time and resources within General Practice. Therefore, reducing your Do Not Attend (DNA) rate is vital for the practice as it ultimately helps improve your patients access to healthcare services.

Below are our top 5 tips to reduce your DNA rate:

  1. Allow for easy appointment amendments or cancellations
  2. Send out appointment reminders
  3. Set policies for your frequent patients who DNA
  4. Record patient attendance
  5. Confirm appointments with patients who have a DNA history

Easy appointment amendments or cancellations

One of the easiest ways to reduce your DNA rate is by making the appointment cancellation process as easy as possible for patients. Several strategies could be used to reduce your DNA rate, which includes:

  • Having a dedicated phone line for appointment cancellations,
  • An SMS service where patients can easily cancel their appointments via text, or
  • Allowing patients to cancel appointments via the practice’s website.
Encourage your patients to be responsible for their appointment bookings by allowing easy management of appointments via your practice’s website. Allowing patients to make amendments to their bookings or even make cancellations online via your website if they need to may help reduce the risk of DNAs.

Sending out appointment reminders

Reduce your DNA rate by sending out SMS reminders to patients, reminding them about their upcoming appointment. To help reduce your Practice’s DNA rate, we recommend explaining how patients can easily cancel or reschedule the appointment if they no longer plan on attending.

Ensuring that you are keeping patient information up to date is also essential. Not only to contact patients to remind them of upcoming appointments but also to get a hold of them for any recalls, reminders, or notification of results. The best way to do this is for admin staff to confirm the patient’s details every so often or whenever a patient arrives at the clinic for their appointment.


Keen to learn how Cubiko can help your reduce your DNA rate?

Set policies for your frequent patients who DNA

Create new policies or procedures to handle patients that have a high DNA history. Patients who have a tendency or repeatedly DNA to their appointments are your frequent DNAers. Have a list that is easily accessible for your reception team to know and add to frequent DNAs. 

Some examples of policies or procedures I’ve seen in practices to reduce DNAs from your frequent DNAs are:

  • Allow them to only book on the day appointments
  • Allow them to only book in quiet periods of the practice (example: Not a 9 am Monday morning appt slot)
  • Charge a no-show fee for patients after they have no-showed for a repeat number of times
  • Collect payment details via your online appointment vendor for patients

Record Patient Attendance

Recording patients’ attendance is important to help you gain insight into your practice’s DNA rate. However, calculating your DNA rate can be a manual task without the proper tool and technologies by downloading clunky reports from your practice management system. You then use this data to measure your DNA rate by taking the number of unattended appointments by the total number of appointments for your selected period.

Cubiko’s did not attend rate metrics gives insight into your Practice’s DNA rate in a simple, easy to read dashboard. These metrics can be used to measure the impact of any DNA management processes that your practice has put in place to reduce them or help better manage Practitioner time.  

You can use these metrics to identify DNA trends within your practice by filtering the data by Practitioner or appointment date. For example, this allows you to determine if a Practitioner has more DNAs on a given day or a day that the practice itself experiences a higher rate.

Furthermore, Cubiko provides you with a list of patient’s that have DNAs in the selected period. The table contains important information such as the number of DNAs these patients have and details of any upcoming appointments for each patient. Your reception staff can use this list as an opportunity to call patient’s who regularly DNA to confirm these appointments or use this slot for double bookings in patients who have a history of DNA.

Confirm appointments with patients who have a DNA history

SMS reminders are useful for a way to ensure patients remember their appointment. And having the ability for the patient to then confirm their appointment will further reduce DNAs in a scalable manner. But sometimes an old fashioned phone call is what helps ensure that patient shows up to their appointment. 

Have your receptionist call the patients that haven’t confirmed their appointments. You will want to start with patients who have a higher DNA history. Which is why this top tip really helps bring together all of the point before in measuring and having patients who frequently DNA list. 

Next Steps

In a bid to reduce your Practice’s DNA rate, we’d recommend performing Quality Improvement activities centred around reducing your DNA rate. 

Additionally, you can set DNAs as a KPI for your practice to track. Our recent blog article talks about some of the other KPIs your practice should be focusing on. 

Cubiko had a range of metrics to help you gain insight into your Practice’s DNA rate and how to reduce it. Book in a demo today to learn more.

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