Filling your dental office schedule is really only part of the battle.
The other part?
You need patients to actually show up.
The sad truth in dentistry is that an appointment is not a guarantee that someone will be in your chair at that time.
This is not always intentional. Unexpected issues arise, and life gets really busy.
Understandably, a dental appointment can slip through the cracks.
However, using powerful dental software, Dental Intel, there are some steps that your dental practice can take to drastically reduce the number of no-shows and cancellations you get.
Assess Your Practice
First and foremost, you need to determine where your practice sits. What is your no-show/cancellation percentage?
To do this, you must track how many appointments you had at the beginning of each day. At the end of the week, calculate how many appointments you actually had vs how many no-shows and cancellations. Divide the number of no-shows by the total appointments, and do the same for cancellations to get your % for each.
Of course, you can do this manually, but if you want to save a ton of time and hassle, Dental Intelligence will show you this percentage for any day/period with the click of a button.
As a note, the top dental practices using the software have a 1% cancellation rate and 0% no-show rate.
What exactly are these successful practices doing to ensure so many of their appointments are fulfilled?
Here is the advice they share:
- Patient-centered approach. Show your patients you care and do what’s best for them, and they will do the same for you by following through with appointments.
- Patient Education. Educating patients about the reason for a procedure goes a long way. Teach in numerous ways, like with models, scripts, video, etc. Take your time and give patients plenty of chances to ask questions.
- Train. Train your patients to show up by helping them schedule in advance, writing reminders, etc. Implement an hour limit for notice of cancellations, including a fee for last-minute cancellations.
- Reminders. Do everything you can to help patients remember when they have an appointment. Send them reminders two months, two weeks, two days, and one hour beforehand unless the patients opt out.
- Find out why. People do not always state the true reason for cancellation. Try to get to the bottom of why they are canceling and address their pain point.
- Get them on the schedule. No matter what you do, patients will still need to cancel occasionally. Get them back on the schedule as soon as possible by following up via phone call and email.
Get Help from a Dental Intel Coach
Dental Intelligence offers several key tools to help you manage and reduce no-shows/cancellations. For example, the online scheduling and patient finder feature allow patients to reschedule on their own rather than waste time requesting an appointment. This software also includes a system for two-way appointment reminders and confirmations.
Ultimately, Dental Intel can drastically help you improve your appointment scheduling, reminders, follow-up, and more. It’s one of the best tools available for reducing no-shows and cancellations. But at the same time, it requires time and expertise to make the most of it. That’s why a Dental Intel coach can be so helpful.
Our team at The Dental Coaching Company is here to help you leverage Dental Intel to reduce no-shows and cancellations so you can grow your practice. Find out more about how we can help by scheduling your free breakthrough call today!