Creating an Environment for a Successful Sleep Study
There are many arguments about when a good sleep study starts. But to me, a set up begins the minute we get the patient on the phone for a PSG. Many labs use a receptionist to make the calls to schedule the appointment. However, many of these people are not able to explain the test or answer some of the questions patients ask. If we do not start off on the right foot, then many people may choose not to have the study or may not show up for the PSG.
I schedule most of my patients at my lab. For those days I am not around, I take the people at our front desk on a tour of the lab and give them a bullet point handout with the frequently asked questions and answers. Since we have started this system, we have had fewer refusals and no-shows.
We also started to e-mail paperwork to patients. As a result, almost everyone I have e-mailed has filled out their paperwork before they arrive and have read our instructions and educational information.
Lastly, I always ask patients to call with any questions. Many issues that cause them to not show up can be handled with a phone call that they know won't be imposing. Senior patients often worry that they will be inconveniencing me if they call.
The fun really starts once they arrive. A great study is then all about the technician and how they handle patients.
How do you reduce no-shows in your lab?