You had three cancellations the day before and four today. Your overburdened scheduling coordinator scrambles to fill the gaps in your schedule with patients from the short call patient list. She does all she can to fill it but to no avail. You waste money and squander your chances of meeting today’s output targets.
Get in the mind of the patient who is not in urgent need.
Understanding why patient cancellations occur in the first place is the key to implementing front desk best practices. Here are some of the most prevalent causes for patient cancellations, as well as the best techniques for avoiding them.
Create a policy for missed appointments
If you don’t already have one, set up a broken appointment policy. If patients are aware that your business has a broken appointment policy, they will be less inclined to cancel appointments or miss the appointments. Make sure to remind patients of your policies every time they arrange an appointment.
Automated notification service
Many visits are missed because of people forgetting, especially for appointments that are planned ahead of time. The easiest approach to combat this issue is to use automated reminders and confirmations. Push alerts are a crucial feature to have in any online scheduling software. As a reminder of their appointment, the app may send push alerts to the patient’s phone. It also ensures that patients are aware that their appointment time has been reserved exclusively for them.
Provide Rewards and Acknowledgements
As a fun method to encourage your patients to maintain their appointments and arrive on time, include an incentive. You can do so by offering discounts or giving away prizes.
For example, you may offer your patients discounts on services if they show up for their appointments without having to reschedule at the last minute. If your patients attended for a visit on time that month, you could put their names into a drawing.
If rewards aren’t an option for your practice, expressing gratitude for your patient’s punctuality might go a long way. Thank them for coming and encourage them to return for their next appointment.
While these techniques can assist minimize the number of no-shows and cancellations, they are difficult to eradicate. Personal issues (such as family emergencies, accidents, and so on) arise and take precedence over a dental visit. Keep a record of patients who want to come in sooner on short notice in case of late cancellations. You’ll have a higher chance of filling in these time slots if you do it this way.