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What if your patient does not show up for an appointment?

sms no-show

You may already know that the Workflower Notification Centre offers a solution to remind patients of their appointments. This helps you to significantly reduce the number of no-shows. But it’s not completely foolproof: despite all precautions, every hospital has to deal with some missed appointments.

“How can we process these no-shows smoothly?” AZ Groeninge asked themselves. They didn’t have to think long, because again Workflower offered a fitting answer. Patients who miss an appointment without a valid reason now automatically receive a text message. They thus know that they may be charged additional compensation. Moreover, they become more aware that their behaviour prevents other patients from being helped.

How does this Workflower no-shows follow-up application work?

  • Every day, the application checks which no-shows have been registered, via a query in the EPR.
  • The application verifies whether all data is known and/or correct: Is there a valid phone number for the patient? Was an appointment registered for the patient in the EPR? If not, is this no-show registration an error? Was the patient registered in the HIS on the day of the appointment? Was the patient in fact at the appointment, but this was not recorded in the EPR?
  • Records with incomplete or incorrect data are indicated in an ‘error list’ for manual follow-up. This makes it possible to fix an incorrect mobile phone number, for example. Or if something went wrong during registration, you can decide not to send a text message to the patient.
  • The Workflower Notification Centre gets to work with the records that are complete, and automatically sends a text message to every person who missed an appointment. Your hospital can define the content of the text message, and even send the text in the patient’s preferred language, as recorded in the EPR.
  • You can follow up which messages were delivered correctly, and which were not, in overview lists.


  • You have good follow-up of no-shows, including clear and correct communication with the patient.
  • The overview lists show you where there are errors, so you can correct them – which improves the quality of the data.
  • You can monitor trends.
  • This process contributes to maximum utilisation of the available resources.

“Thanks to this process, we can improve our communication with our patients. We inform them that they risk paying additional compensation if they do not show up for an appointment without prior notification. More importantly, this also helps us to raise their awareness. We want them to understand that it is important to notify or cancel in advance, so that we can help other patients and organise our care more efficiently, especially in those areas that are extremely busy and have long waiting lists.”
Tom Lecoutere, Manager care-related IT, AZ Groeninge


  • Interface with the EPR to retrieve no-shows and verify the patient’s appointments, mobile number and preferred language.
  • Interface with the ADT processor, to check whether the patient is registered in the HIS on the date of the appointment.
  • Interface with AZ Groeninge’s existing text message system, which sends the text messages.


Hospital AZ Groeninge analysed the process and the data sources, while we worked intensively with the hospital to set up the Workflower application and develop the interfaces. We also provided a broad Workflower training course.

There was good cooperation and clear communication with AZ Groeninge throughout the project. The comprehensive analysis carried out by the hospital in advance was certainly a success factor. It ensured that the scope was clear from the start and that the project followed a well-structured course.

Want to know more about the no-show follow-up process?