Do's and don'ts for efficient scheduling: Consider automating appointment confirmation

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Dental offices will always have to contend with no-shows, last-minute cancellations, and late arrivals. It's human nature to forget, run late, or fall short of commitments. But your practice can keep no-shows to 1% or less with a well-conceived and consistently applied appointment confirmation system. And today there are automated confirmation services you can use to streamline and improve the results from your efforts to get patients to show up as promised.


Vet automated systems carefully. Many practices are getting great results with some of the automated systems available today. Check them out carefully and in detail. Involve team members who'd actually be using the system, as they will have a valuable perspective. Investigate how well the confirmation system will integrate with other aspects of practice management. And, if possible, talk to colleagues who are already using the technology you're considering.


Don't squander the staff time you save by automating the process. The purpose of switching to automated confirmation is to modernize and improve the results of the process, but there another benefit. It will dramatically reduce the amount of staff time required. Prepare for this by planning for other productive tasks for your team.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the founder and CEO of Levin Group, the leading dental practice consulting firm in North America. For the complete list of dates and locations where you can attend his latest seminar, visit

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

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