The Top 3 Reasons Why Patients Miss Their Appointment

Alyssa Robertson - March 5, 2021 - Appointment Reminder /

Every day and possibly every hour, there is a patient in the world who has just missed their medical appointment. And while medical practices seek to implement practices to reduce their frequency, it is still quite a common phenomenon. Private and also public healthcare facilities have resulted in using patient self-scheduling software and other solutions. No-shows can be costly to the practice. Apart from the missed revenue, there is also the issue of payment to other workers, overheads, and reimbursement for the hiring of special tools, if any.

While you can be frustrated as a medical practitioner, today we want to present the top 3 different reasons why patients can be late for their appointments.


Cities all over the world are experiencing an increasing rate of urbanization. This means that more and more people are being attracted to the city. With increased population and the same number of services, public facilities are becoming overwhelmed. Long hours can be spent in traffic jams during peak hours. It becomes difficult for patients to make their way from one part of town to another. Relying on public transportation is no longer quite a recommended option. However, patients have no alternative since some don’t have their own means.

To help out your patients, you can partner with private taxi and rideshare companies to reduce the frequency of no-shows. It will be less costly for you (compared to a no-show) and also improve the quality of service offered.

Something came up

When asked why they did not make it for the scheduled appointment, the reply of a large percentage of patients is “Something came up”.

One thing we must appreciate is that our patients are hard-working citizens who want to make ends meet. They can only do so if they attend to their clients and offer their services. Some even have multiple jobs that they must hold down to make ends meet.

The use of an appointment reminder system could be the way to go. The patient can simply communicate hours before the actual appointment. This allows for the client to possibly fill the slot with a walk-in.  

Financial responsibilities

Money has always been an issue. It is scarce in supply and demand for it is high. No matter how much you earn, it never quite seems to be enough of it. And while a patient might have scheduled an appointment, they might have gotten a last-minute financial need. According to them, it would be better to forego the planned doctor’s appointment and use the money for the new need.

To curb this reason, medical practices can educate patients on the need for insurance plans. The payment of insurance premiums can be different between an early diagnosis and a critical disease. This will make them feel more obligated to stay loyal to the timings of their appointments.