How to Avoid Unpredictable Appointment No-Shows

The best way to approach these turndowns is to use a patient reminder service. But those are not the only strategies and tricks we have up our sleeve.

Double booking your “disappointing” clients

You need to put your foot down and acknowledge the patients who have missed appointments more than three times in a month. Those are enough times for you to establish a rule: every moment you have a shirking patient, then you need to double book their slots in your schedule. That way, if they disappoint you again, you will not feel bad or frustrated. You will just pick up their slot and negotiate with another patient if he can fit in the empty slot. This means that you will win either if the patient shows up or not.

Calls and automated appointment reminder

This mainly applies to major hospitals and clinics that have a heavily packed schedule. You need to have constant reminders for patients to respond to your text, email, or call. This can save your staff and organization time and money. They will not have to use either of the resources to be able to get feedback from their clientele. Medical offices just need to be conscious of how these automated appointment reminders work and how much they will cost per month. It is also necessary to note the kind of features that will suit your needs so that you can be efficient and effective as much as possible. Some apps have free trials for you to test out feasibility and suitability.

Defining lines

In the modern world, you need to be a master of asynchronous communication. This is because most people communicate on social media platforms, apps, and email. We need to be careful of the way our information is addressed to our audience. The end goal, or rather your end goal, should operate in the lines of authority and power. It is about respecting each other’s time. You cannot keep having fun and playing hide and seek on whether your patient is coming or not. It should be either yes or no. Simple.

The best way to do this is to make sure your communication is paired with clear-cut writing. For example, attach deadlines and timelines to when your potential patient should respond to your requested appointment or a reminder of an appointment. Attach these conditions and terms to your communication and you will see excellent results. This is because you are forcing them to make a decision. And if they don’t, you are moving on like nothing ever happened. That’s one hell of a superpower, my friend.

A no-show policy

Just like any other organization, medical practices have policies and regulations that are to be followed. Patients need a no-show policy for them to understand the time window of response to a requested or existing appointment. The policy would also offer the clients the number of no-show occurrences before consequences appear and it would explain those consequences to them. This makes sure there is a sense of seriousness associated with your practice. Ad if it’s enforceable by law.

Have a waitlist

A waitlist is a bunch of members who can immediately find the time to fit in the slots of your no-shows. Always have this list by your side so that you can instantly replace the disappointments with people who are ready to make things happen at a short notice.