Reducing No-Shows: Tips to Prevent Empty Schedules

office with no appointments

You go through your schedule the night before a busy day and notice that every appointment spot is taken, and it seems like you won’t have a minute to spare. However, when you revisit your schedule at the end of the next day, you see that two patients had rescheduled while two others were a no-show. What you are left with a classic “Swiss cheese” schedule, full of holes. If this sounds like you, read on…

One of our mottos is- “Never Let a No-Show Happen.” It’s why we cover various relevant proprietary processes with our clients. These don’t just increase same-day booking rates but show percentages as well. Here are some pointers you can go through:

1. Understand the Reason Behind No-Shows

Your patients don’t have to make it to their appointment. It means they will only if they feel obligated or want to. Being aware of this helps your staff members realize how and why the following tips are vital.  

2. Establish a Good Relationship on the First Phone Call 

The approach you adopt on that initial phone call with patients matters a great deal. Your PCC (Patient Care Coordinator) needs to be skilled, friendly, and adept enough to sync with every patient on the phone. It will help ensure that they feel connected with the PCC at the end of that call. If the coordinator has made an effort to build rapport with the patient in some way, the latter will be more likely to keep their appointment. 

3. Let Them Know That the Doctor Has Limited Time

Your patients will be more apt to keep their appointments if they know that the doctor has limited time and needs to make the best use of every minute. Our script can prove to be useful while making those initial calls- “Dr.____ will be taking time out of his rather hectic schedule to meet with you personally, so I want to ensure we select a time that works…”

4. Make Sure You Complete Every Call Systematically 

Once the PPC has scheduled the appointment, the patient and the coordinator may just want to wrap up the call. However, there is another crucial step that should not be missed. The coordinator needs to make sure that the patient has made a note of the appointment in their calendar. The verbiage to use at this point- “Do you have a pen and paper handy? “Give them a few seconds to respond. Once they say they do, courteously say- “Great. Just let me know whenever you are ready…”

5. Remind the Patient about the Appointment two Days Prior

Your PPC must call the patient two days before their consultation. However, this needs to be a reminder call and should not sound like they are calling to confirm. When you remind patients about their appointments, it leaves no room for any changes. On the other hand, when you confirm their appointment, it allows them the opportunity to cancel.

The words need to be framed correctly, so the patient knows that the PCC isn’t confirming IF they will come. They are being reminded that they need to be there at the scheduled time. You can say something like: “Hi ____, this is ____ from Dr. ____’s office. How are you? Great. We know you have this in your calendar already, but we wanted to quickly call you and remind you that you have an upcoming appointment, Tuesday at 2 pm, with the doctor…if you have no other queries, we look forward to seeing you then.”

Feel free to call us at (844) 949-3600 or Contact Us for more information.  

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