5 Ways to Reduce Patient No-Shows

5 Ways to Reduce Patient No-Shows

November 13, 2018 | 6 min read

5 Ways to Reduce Patient No-Shows

Reducing patient no-shows image

Every clinic feels the burden of cancellations and no-show patients whether you’re a physiotherapist, massage therapist, chiropractor, and acupuncturist. Empty appointment slots add up. If your clinic charges patients $100 per hour on average, and your clinic has six empty appointment slots a week, it adds up to $31,200 in potential lost revenue over the span of a year.

Potential lost revenue calculation

Reduce your clinic no-shows

Use the following five techniques to change your clinic’s strategy when it comes to reducing patient no-shows:

1.  Automate reminders
2.  Create a waiting list to fill cancellations
3.  Implement a clear cancellation policy
4.  Create pre-paid treatment plans
5.  Offer a promotion to fill empty time slots

1. Automate reminders

Create a proactive mindset when it comes to reminding patients of their upcoming appointments. Use your clinic’s software to create automated text, email, or robocall reminders. The automation of reminders ensures that your administration staff can focus on customer service, booking appointments, and billing practices.

If you aspire to have each patient called personally before their appointment, set standards for administration staff to take rotating 15 minute breaks to call patients scheduled for the next day. If the patient does not pick up, be sure to leave a voicemail for them.

Contact a Juvonno customer service representative to learn how to set up automated reminders in the Juvonno system.

2. Create a waiting list to fill cancellations

Cancellations may not always be avoidable, but with the assurance of automated reminders, patients will be more likely to cancel in advance. This will also allow your administration staff to fill appointment cancellations in each practitioner’s schedule.

Waiting lists should use best practices, such as collecting the priority and type of appointment, the patient’s information, if they need to see a specific practitioner, date and time of the appointment, if there is an expiration to the wait list appointment, and a memo.

By creating a waiting list your administration staff can see a detailed list of patients with contact information, reaching them when a cancellation occurs.

To go a step further, make sure to fill cancelled appointments with wait list patients right from your schedule inside of your clinic management software.

Contact a Juvonno customer service representative to learn how to set up your wait list, or book wait listed patients right from cancelled appointments in the Juvonno system.

3. Implement a clear cancellation policy

Creating a clear cancellation policy can deter patients from not only cancelling a few hours prior to their appointment, but might also include a late policy to additionally deter patients from showing up late to appointments.

Set a percentage or flat charge rate on cancellations within a set amount of hours, such as 24 hours prior to an appointment. Make sure that patients are aware of the policy by posting it in a highly visible area, such as the front desk of your clinic. Patients should easily be able to read over the policy on their first visit and be notified of how they will be charged if they do not adhere to the policy. For good measure, your cancellation policy should also be posted on your clinic’s website.

Create efficiency of cancelled appointments payment by using an automated payment processor that can store credit cards on file. If the patient fails to adhere to the cancellation policy, your clinic management software should have the ability to charge the card on the patient’s profile to recover the cancellation fee.

Contact a Juvonno customer service representative to learn how to securely store patient payment information in the Juvonno system.

4. Create pre-paid treatment packages

To help create better commitment, you can create pre-paid treatment packages. Attendance is likely to be better as it is booked on the schedule in advance.

Missing an appointment in a pre-paid treatment package or not rebooking in accordance to the cancellation policy, could mean losing the cost of the appointment. Having this sunk cost can greatly affect the attendance of patients, and you should see a more positive impact for your clinic.

5. Offer a promotion to fill empty time slots

After calling all of the patients on the waiting list, start to think of empty appointment slots as if they have a variable cost instead of a fixed cost. To help with income loss due to cancellations, create new no-show tasks and offer promotions to help fill the cancelled slots.

Think of it as the blowout pricing that airlines may have closer to the time of the flight. Often airlines will try to fill a few last minute seats because it’s better to fill the seat at just above the breakeven point, then to have the seat unfilled and feel the full expense of the seat with no revenue.

Calculate a lowered cost for services (promotion) if a patient was to bump their scheduled appointment to a cancelled appointment. This lowered cost is generally 70–90% of the original cost of the appointment. These last minute appointments can be posted on your clinic’s website or social media, such as twitter, instagram, or facebook.

(This promotion should only be offered to patients that are receiving treatment that does not follow a strict treatment plan, as to not over stimulate the injured area.)

By using these five techniques, your clinic is sure to reduce patient no-shows, or at the very least not miss out on potential revenue.