Canceled appointments cost your practice time and money. If more than 1 percent of the total appointments at your practice are broken due to last-minute cancellations or no-shows, then you need to find a way to cut down on these behaviors.
Here are a few steps you can take to help encourage your patients to keep their appointments.
- Education – You and your staff must impress upon your patients the value of a scheduled appointment, and also instill a sense of respect for the investment of time, money, and professional skills prior to each patient walking through your doors. The best way to achieve this is by building a good relationship with new patients. Many practices print out their scheduling policies for new patients to help instill this value. If you go this route, make sure to use friendly language when writing the document.
- Update technology – A confirmation system is one of the greatest tools available to a dental practice, but many offices have not gone that route. Why? Investing in a system that sends automated phone calls, text messages, and e-mails as appointment reminders will cut down on the frequency of no-shows and cancellations for your practice. Be sure to politely ask patients for their cell phone numbers, as calls to those phones have a much higher likelihood of being answered.
- Follow-up quickly – For any no-show on an appointment, you should have the scheduling coordinator at your practice attempt to contact them immediately to make sure everything is all right. If this is the first offense for a patient, consider waiving the penalty fee as a courtesy. Rather than allow a patient to reschedule immediately, instead call him or her back in a few days to offer a time slot that “just became open.”
Use all these tactics, and you should see a significant drop-off in no-shows and late cancellations.
Bryant Consultants’ services can help you realize your vision, establish goals, and set processes in place to evolve your practice. Contact us by calling (877) 768-4799.
We provide consultation, training, and coaching to help improve the operations of your practice so that you can provide exceptional results to your patients. No office is out of reach for us; we will even come to you!