No-shows create gaps in your schedule that are impossible to fill, costing you production, revenue, and income. Several years ago, you might have suggested that repeat offenders seek dental care elsewhere. However in today's challenging market, it makes more sense to attempt to "train" them to be more conscientious.
Teach patients the value of appointments. When patients are late for an appointment, call them immediately at their cell number to ask if they're OK. If they don't show up, explain that they have caused a financial loss for the practice and that they'll have to wait weeks for a new appointment (though you may contact them later to offer something sooner). For patients who still become no-shows, indicate that the best you can do is put them on a list for last-minute openings.
Don't let them forget upcoming appointments. Because you may need to become very firm in how you manage no-shows, make sure it's not your fault. Review your confirmation system and upgrade it to take advantage of the latest techniques, like automated text reminder software.
Dr. Roger P. Levin is CEO of Levin Group, a leading practice management and marketing consulting firm. To contact him or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit LevinGroup.com or email email@example.com.
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