Last-minute cancellations and no-shows can undermine your best efforts to increase production, leaving unfillable gaps in your schedule. This will always be a problem, as it is for other types of businesses, but with diligence and the right systems you should be able to reduce your no-show rate to 1% or less. Strategies for encouraging patient compliance in this area range from building value for appointments beforehand to initiating patient “re-training” afterward. All are worth implementing, but none can match confirmation techniques for immediacy and effectiveness.
Time to Rethink the Way You Confirm Appointments?
If you haven’t updated your approach to confirmation in the past 2–3 years, there’s probably room for improvement. Communication technologies are changing fast, and people… including your patients… are adapting. Some older techniques such as postcards or calls placed manually to landline phones are not cost-effective, often fail to engage patients sufficiently and should therefore be replaced. At the present time, your best options for confirming patient appointments include:
By redesigning your confirmation methodology with modern tools such as these, you should be able to reduce your no-show rate to 1% or less. Keep in mind, however, that you’ll inevitably need to revisit this subject whenever new communication technologies catch on with the general public.