Do’s and don’ts for contacting overdue patients

Dr. Roger P. Levin.
Dr. Roger P. Levin.

Too many practices lose patients because the office fails to reach out to them after missing an appointment. If you wait for patients to call you, you’ll be waiting a long time. Instead, make it a priority to reschedule patients who missed an appointment. The sooner you can get them back on the schedule, the more likely they will remain a patient.

Practice Success Do

Be proactive about managing patients. Even your best patients will cancel occasionally due to an unforeseen event. It’s up to the practice to get them back on schedule as quickly as possible. Contact them the next day and follow up for three weeks, preferably by cell phone. 

Don’t let patients become overdue. When patients call to cancel, try to get them to reconsider. If that doesn’t work, reschedule them during that conversation. If they are hesitant to do so, ask for a good time to call them the next day or later in the week. By emphasizing the importance of hygiene appointments, you can keep patients on the schedule and prevent them from becoming inactive. 

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 or email [email protected].

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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