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Stop Patient No-shows! 8 Secrets Every Dentist Should Know


It’s no secret that cancelled appointments cause frustration in every practice. Everyone has their plans; convincing your patients to adhere to appointments for routine and non-urgent visits can be challenging. Approaching work deadlines, social commitments, and family obligations can all seem more important in patients’ minds than a routine dental hygiene appointment.Missed appointments can be harmful to your practice and it can affect your profitability. At the same time, your patients will suffer from not getting the proper care at right time.Suppose cancelling appointments is common at your dental practice because your patients are busy and unable to manage time. In that case, we’ve got six tips to help you improve your show-up rates and relationship with your patients.

1. Send appointment reminders to patients

Telephonic appointment reminders are most helpful, but many patients prefer a text message or email for reminders. Choosing the patient’s preferred reminder method is a bit complex but it can significantly reduce no-shows. You can also establish an automated appointment reminder system. This will ensure that your patients are getting reminders without your much involvement.

Are you wondering why your patients are not returning? Read read our blog here to understand the reasons and how to overcome it.

2. Give them right reasons for follow-up visits

This is a crucial step to avoid no-show patients. It can begin. If the appointment is to be a follow-up, tell them why it is necessary. Communicate to them what will be discussed and what extra actions can be expected. Patients are more likely to come to a follow-up visit if they clearly understand why, it is critical.

3. Go for a Telemedicine Program

Though no-shows and cancellations are a significant source of frustration for practices, there are many real challenges that can make visiting your dental practice difficult for patients. Finding childcare, missing time from work, and wasting time in traffic are practical issues that cause missed appointments. One of the most effective ways to take these burdens off patients is to opt for a telemedicine program. Appointments via video are much easier, faster, more comfortable, and less expensive for patients. It’ll eliminate multiple reasons patients fail to show up.



4. Implement a Cancellation Policy

It is a good idea to charge a fee for no-shows and last-minute cancellations. Opinions on implementing this option might be different. If you decide to do so, having a written cancellation policy that every patient will sign will be helpful. It should reflect clearly that no-shows are bad for dental practice and harmful to patient health outcomes. It should ask the patient to give a reasonable notification period if they want to cancel or postpone an appointment.

5. Reduce wait times

Your cancellation policy will tell the patients to respect your time by giving prior notice if they must cancel the appointment. It is also reasonable for them to expect the same from your side. You can also respect their time by minimising the wait times.

6. Identify patients who usually miss appointments

Track no-shows and cancellations if you want to reduce no-shows in your practice. Identify patients who frequently miss appointments. Try to find the reason. You may discover a barrier that is restricting them from making it. You may also need to remind them about your cancellation policy. In rare cases, a patient habitually misses appointments due to negligence, Still, often, there is a way out to find a solution and turn the situation around.

7. Make it easy to cancel or change an appointment

Patients should understand how to cancel an appointment in advance. They should be offered the choice to postpone as well.

8. Identify patients who usually miss appointments

If a patient wants to come in for a check-up in six months, you might be waiting until closer to the due date to book an appointment. A person’s schedule can be changed in that amount of time and, such things skip from people’s minds when the appointment time is far away. If want to know more how to keep rolling in patient, then read our blog on 5 innovative & effective ways to keep patients rolling in..

Final thoughts

Suppose you implement these eight secrets in your dental practice that we have gained through years of marketing in dentistry field. In such situation, you will actively engage with your patients in a fun way and arrange more appointments in a cost-effective manner.You will see an increase in your website traffic to get back your retargeting audience.

If you need a dental marketing agency that can help you with an effective marketing plan to book high-quality new patients that respect your time and minimize no-shows, call One Stop Dental Marketing on 1300 867 699.  In addition, we provide services for Social media marketing,Website Design, dental SEO, PPC. Feel free to reach out to us. We are just a call away. Please get in touch with us. We can be reached by phone.

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