Even if you have the most advanced scheduling technology: your systems are advanced, your scheduling is digital and online, your staff is friendly and diligent—you can still suffer from cancellations and no-show patients. These cancellations can cost your practice tens of thousands of dollars every year.
Some practices have automated reminders sent to their patients regularly, yet they still experience unfortunate cancellations. What can you do to reduce no-shows and cancellations so that your practice can stop losing money?
Automated reminders are no replacement for a personal call. Many patients are used to automated reminders and expect them, yet we are becoming more and more trained to ignore these reminders throughout society. For example, if an email doesn’t seem like it was written by a person, we often ignore it. This can be the case even with the most advanced digital reminders and scheduling systems, and it is especially true for new patients.
Call new patients personally.
We recommend that the doctor take a few minutes each day to call new patients who are scheduled for their first visit the next day. This will help you to make a rapid and solid rapport with your patients and will drastically reduce the number of cancellations.
Reduce the wait time for new patients.
If at all possible, new patients should be put on priority. The personal relationship you can form with new patients by getting them into the office quickly is highly beneficial. If a client feels like a priority, they will make you a priority.
Put no-shows on standby.
We have all missed an appointment at some point in our life, but patients who consistently do not show up to their appointments should not be given priority. They should either have to pay upfront or can be put on standby. This way they can receive a call same-day if an opening comes up and they can come in right away.