11 Things Successful Practices can teach you about missed appointments

There are numerous practices that cause people to lose over $100,000 every year because of missed appointments only. If you are here, we assume that you’re most likely one of the numerous practices on experiencing what we call the No-Show Epidemic. Every year about an average rate of 12% of missed appointments build up the cost of no show practices. These practices don’t just waste your time but also tend to make you lose hundreds of dollars every year.

Missed Revenue:

Lets consider a minimum amount of two no shows a day; even two no shows a day means that you can lose up to $200-900 for the practice. If we make the calculations according to a yearly rate, a huge amount of revenue is lost due to missed appointments. This amount can go up to $52,000 to quarter a million dollars.

Wasted Time and Incurred Costs:

Prepping for an appointment takes time and money. If the individual who made the appointment does not show up, it means that not only is your time wasted but so is the money that you pay the staff to prep for the appointment.

The treatment plan:

Two of the main reasons you experience a lot of no-shows are: Not communicating to your clients effectively and not being able to engage with your patients properly. At times, the missed appointments are set into motion even before scheduling the appointment. There are a few secrets that you can use to tackle this problem of no shows. The below mentioned care plan will discuss some important steps you can take before, while and after scheduling the appointment.

SECRET #1 Treat Your Patients Like Friends

Start treating your patients as friends instead of engaging them as a business. Your schedule is likely to be respected by the patients if they can relate to and are familiar to the person behind the practice name. Due to technology, maintaining communications the way we used to do in the past has become ineffective. Mail has become useless and a waste of money, however one thing that is likely to catch the attention of your patients is email. Since most of people check their emails daily, you can reach out to your patients through emails. Since this is a free method of communication, you should make the most out of it.

SECRET #2 Show Them What You Know

Since your patients have put their health in your hands, you have the ability to engage them in a way that other small business can’t. Start sending eNewsletters instead of using brochures and printed PDF’s in your office. To engage the patients properly, add an education section in the Enewsletters you send. You can educate your patients with valuable information on specific topics for engaging and targeted outreach. Use blogs and social media to educate which are the best mediums for sharing tips and health news. Your patients are likely to pay attention to your content if they benefit from the information you provide.

SECRET #3 Stop Talking to Yourself

Patients are most likely to ignore reminder calls. It is always better to ask your patients if they prefer to receive texts or emails for reminders instead of wasting time on phone calls that are not going to get picked. Automated systems can be used to remind you how, when and with what frequency your patients prefer to be contacted. Instead of using robot or mechanical voices for phone call, use a natural voice. People are most likely to hang up when they receive calls that have robots talking and are more likely to pay attention to appointment details when a real staff member is talking to them.

SECRET #4 Use No-Brainer Confirmations

Allow your patients to get done with the confirmation quickly instead of making the process lengthy. Let your patients confirm the appointment by one word letter or a single click on the ‘’yes, I’m going to be there’’, button. A cancellation is always better than a no show. You can fill out the space by issuing another appointment. Instead of waiting for them to inform you that they wont be coming provide them with a simple ‘’no’’ option.

SECRET #5 Stop Being Hard to Talk To (make it easy to reschedule)

Instead of making your patients search for ways to contact you to reschedule an appointment, give them the link for your website, blog and social media in every message you send. Patients are most likely to not contact you if they can’t find your contact information. Provide them a quick and easy medium to reach you. Allow your patients to reach out to you through patient portals. Provide them a easy access to this portal so they can easily reach you whenever they want to.

SECRET #6 Fill Every Opening

Rather than spending time calling each patient one by one, use automated systems that will allow you to send out mass notifications with appointment details to each patient. In case, a patient cancels the appointment you can send out a message to your patients asking them to fill in the spot. This will make your patients respond quickly to snag the spot.

SECRET #7 Help Them Be Punctual

Allow your patients to add the appointment to their e-calendar so they don’t forget about the appointment. You can do this by adding an ‘’add to my calendar’’ option so they can do this without any effort. You can also remind your patients to add the appointment to their calendar by including a note in your emails. Your patients are more likely to show up for the appointment if they are reminded before hand.

SECRET #8 Tell Them When You’re Late

In case you are late for the appointment yourself, make sure you notify your patients about the time you would arrive. Reschedule their appointment to increase patient satisfaction. This is much better than keeping the patients waiting which can make them frustrated and leave. You can send this notification through mass notifications that will allow you to send the same message to a group of patients at the same time.

SECRET #9 Don’t Let Them Get Bored

Keep your patients engaged and entertained while they are waiting for their turn in your office. You can do this by handing them tablets that will allow them to check in digitally. Add educational letters on topics that your patients are likely to find interesting on these tablets so they have something to do while they are waiting. Keep a water pitcher with lemons in the waiting room, play nice music and keep a hire a friendly front desk task to make the patients feel comfortable.

SECRET #10 Respect Their Opinion

After the patients are done seeing the doctor, send them online survey that they can fill out to inform you about their experience. These satisfaction surveys will help you monitor your performance and will allow you to learn what your patients want. You can also set up a system that will alert you If you patients submits a negative feedback so you can quickly contact them and address their complaints.

SECRET #11 Don’t Forget About Them

Maintain good relations with your patients by constantly reaching out them. This shows that you have not forgotten them after their appointment ended. This method also helps reduce the number of no shows. You can do this by sending out message and texts to find out how you patients are feeling at the end of the day of their appointment. You can simply thank them if they don’t want to be checked on. Make your patients comfortable and be personal. This shows that you have not forgotten your patient. Conversing personally also makes your patient see you as a person instead of business.