It is ideal to every practice to have a full schedule and a lot of appointments being booked, however, most practices deal with unexpected cancellations and no shows. This is to be expected but once you notice in your practice that it continues to happen, don’t be scared to do something about it. Cancellations can be easier to deal with as you can just reschedule the patient if enough notice is given, but no shows are more difficult to handle and more costly for your practice.
You might not want to confront your patients in case they react badly and go somewhere else, but at the same time no shows and cancellations are costing your practice money and you should do something about it.
There are a few ways you can stop this from becoming a common thing in your practice.
The first thing is to communicate with your new patients. Make them understand that they should give you notice for a cancellation with 48 to 72 hours prior to their appointment. That way you can reschedule and fit in other patients without having to lose money. Let them know that you understand that emergencies happen but that a re-occurrence won’t be tolerated and fees will be charged if there isn’t enough notice given.
The same goes for the no shows. Implement a fee for no shows and give them “A talk”. After every no show, contact your patient and let them know you are sorry they couldn’t make it to their appointment and that this time it will be free of charge but if it happens another time there will be a fee. Take that opportunity to reschedule with them and show you care about them and appreciate their business.
Communicating with your patients is the easiest way to deal with these problems that happen often in dental practices, but if you are honest with them and tell your patients that it becomes very difficult for you and your staff to deal with these issues, hopefully that would make them understand and will let you know with enough time next time they need to cancel an appointment.
Tralongo can help you manage the day to day operations while you focus on retaining your current patients happy. Call us for a quick consultation on 404 537 5211 or visit us at www.tralongo.net