Games Can Effectively Encourage Desired Patient Behaviors

January 14, 2016

Aron Ezra, CEO of OfferCraft, sets the stage: “A specialty outpatient clinic was struggling with a problem common to many health care providers: Patients weren’t showing up for their appointments. The problem was particularly severe for this clinic, where the no-show rate was close to 50 percent. Doctors weren’t able to bill unless the patient showed up, and long stretches of the day went by without patients—or revenue.

Aron Ezra, CEO of OfferCraft

Aron Ezra, CEO of OfferCraft

“The clinic administrators tried everything to combat the problem. They double-booked appointment slots, but the no-shows didn’t follow a pattern. Sometimes both patients showed up, leading to long wait times. Or both didn’t show, leaving slots empty. Everyone was unhappy.”

Sound familiar? If you’ve experienced similar problems at your facility, you may have tried charging patients for no-shows. So did this clinic. While the penalty reduced the no-show rate somewhat, Ezra reports, “it had some big drawbacks. It upset patients, many of whom felt they had legitimate personal reasons for missing their appointments.”

Ezra, whose technology startup offers software geared to help engage patients in their own care, posits a fun yet effective solution: the use of games.

“Games typically yield double- and even triple-digit increases in compliance with the health care team’s desired action. And the cherry on top? Patients actually enjoy it,” Ezra says. “These initiatives don’t lead just to short-term behavior change—they often lead to long-term engagement and deeper excitement about their health care. It’s a true win-win for payers, providers, and patients.”

For all the details on how playing games at your facility can lead to healthier patients and a more robust bottom line, read our full article now: A Winning Proposition: How Playing Games Can Change Patient Behavior.

Best regards,
Matt Humphrey

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