If you have a real problem with no shows and cancellations in your office, then the first thing to do is to re-evaluate your philosophy on how to handle these patients. If you work out of a sense of desperation, then you most likely immediately reschedule everyone that cancels. You may also follow a philosophy of never billing patients for missed appointments for fear of upsetting them. If this sounds familiar, then you may have trained your patients that there is no consequence to cancelling appointments with you – and so, they cancel and no show frequently!
Another way to handle no shows and cancels is to establish a philosophy that your time is valuable and that patients who disrespect their appointments must be retrained. You can determine the guidelines for your office to follow that are fair to the patients who show up on time for their scheduled appointments as well as appropriate for the patients who simply cannot make their appointment.
I recommend a philosophy that reflects:
To put this philosophy into practice – If a client cancels:
With more than 24 hrs. notice – reschedule their appt immediately, no problem
With less than 24 hrs. notice – use your best judgment to decide:
#1 – Is this a legitimate excuse? Such as illness, funeral, car accident – if so, acknowledge and go ahead and reschedule the appointment.
#2 – Is this a poor excuse? They have a cold, forgot, changed their schedule – if so, follow the Cancel/No Show reschedule system.
To establish your no show/ cancellation system:
By establishing a comprehensive approach to handling no shows and cancellations, you can dramatically reduce your last minute holes in schedules. The key is setting strong guidelines and then communicating effectively with your patients. This takes time, but this effort pays off with fewer missed appointments. Your patients will understand the value of your dentist and hygienist time and they will be given options for working successfully with you.
If you would like a done-for-you no show / cancellation system that provides all these answers as well as step by step instructions to implement this new approach, click link below and you will be automatically taken to a page where you can learn more and purchase if you are interested.