5 Ways an Appointment Management System Can Decrease No-Shows

Keep your schedule full with an appointment management system designed to make your life easy.

No one enjoys a no-show appointment. Your schedule gets thrown off. The patient receives a bill, and your staff has to deal with their frustration.  An appointment management system can help you decrease the number of no-shows in your practice.

Let’s face it: when it comes down to it, no-shows cost you money.

You may be able to recover a missed appointment fee, but it’s probably a lot less than you make from a treatment.

01-5 Ways an Appointment Management System Can Decrease No-Shows-01Meanwhile, with advanced notice, you can schedule another patient who will compensate for any missed revenue.

If you’re like many dental practices, you call patients to confirm appointments. That’s a lot of valuable time that goes to naught when your patient doesn’t show up.

Is this just how it works as a dentist? You schedule appointments; you give reminder calls, and still get no-shows. How could an appointment management system change anything?

Let’s find out.

Reducing no-shows through scheduling

Timing may be the hardest part of setting appointments. When you schedule appointments six months ahead of time, there are bound to be some planning conflicts.

If your schedule is still in a spiral-bound appointment book, or even in a basic online calendar, it’s tricky to change appointment days and times. After you flip through several pages of dates and find the right one, you’ve got to break out the eraser, then find a new day and time.

When you begin changing appointments, there is a greater chance of human error. Maybe the dentist will be out; maybe your patient writes down the wrong day, or maybe you put the updated appointment in for Wednesday instead of Thursday.

With an appointment management system, scheduling is easy and streamlined. Furthermore, it’s a breeze to change appointments when you can quickly see available slots.

Reducing no-shows through reminders

Even if the right software makes it easy to reschedule appointments, how can that reduce no-shows? Two words: automated reminders. Yes, someone in the office can spend an hour or two each day making reminder calls. Couldn’t they do something more productive?

Automated reminders will free some serious time for your office staff. Still, though, how will they improve attendance?

02-5 Ways an Appointment Management System Can Decrease No-Shows-01Automated reminders can be set to go out via text, email, or phone calls, depending on the patient’s preference. Right away you’re reaching out to your patients in a manner that is best for them. Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about missing anyone or leaving messages they may not get.

Reducing no-shows through confirmation

This is simple and straightforward. Your system sends an appointment reminder text with a request to reply with a confirmation. You may not always get a response, but you give yourself time to fill that appointment slot in the event of a cancellation.

Reducing no-shows through preference

Not every appointment is scheduled months in advance. Some treatment plans require regular visits. An appointment management system can streamline this process for you. Stop flipping through that desk calendar and set up a schedule for an entire treatment plan in the beginning that works with your patients’ schedule.

Reducing no-shows through a waitlist

You can use scheduling, reminders, confirmation, and preference to reduce no-shows. The fact remains that there will be some patients who just don’t make it to the appointment no matter what you do.

Life happens. Patients may wake up sick or get stuck in an airport in Fresno or have a flat tire. These are the patients who call you two hours before their scheduled cleaning to notify you that they can’t make it. This isn’t quite a no-show, but you don’t have much time to work with.03-5 Ways an Appointment Management System Can Decrease No-Shows-01

No problem! Your appointment management system has a list of patients who are overdue for a cleaning. Get in touch with them. Offer them a discount if you need to, and because you don’t have to sort manually through patient records, it will be much easier for you to try filling that slot.

When you reduce no-shows, you increase your revenue. You keep your workflow organized, and your patients have better oral health. Isn’t it time to put an appointment management system to work for your practice?

We’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you use an appointment management system? How has it helped you reduce no-shows? 

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