No-shows and last-minute cancellations are inevitable from time-to-time, but they can have a significant financial impact on your practice. Luckily, there are ways that you can reduce the impact to your practice through these tips.
1. Identify why patients are cancelling. If patients call-in to cancel often, find out if there’s a bigger reason behind it. Was there a recent change in your insurance policies? Schedules? If you can identify the root cause, it can help you solve the overall problem.
2. Set automated dental patient reminders. Remind patients a month, week and day before their appointment. Include the date, time and even location of your practice for convenience, and utilize various communication channels to effectively reach patients (e.g. text, email and phone calls).
3. Establish cancellation policies. Whether you decide to charge for same-day cancellations or have a limit on how many times a year you’ll allow a patient to cancel their appointment, it’s fair to have boundaries within reason.
4. Expand your hours. Many patients are extremely busy and don’t have time during their work day for a dentist appointment. Consider office hours outside of the standard 9-to-5 and weekends. Plus, this flexibility will help you stand apart from other competitors.
5. Confirm appointments. In addition to automated reminders, make sure patients confirm their appointment either by replying to a text, clicking a link in an email, or confirming with your office staff.
For more ideas and tips on how to improve patient communications and reduce no-shows, download our latest whitepaper, How to Keep More Patients with Less Work, here.