How Dentists can Reduce Cancellations and No-Shows for Appointments

February 10, 2024

Dealing with no-shows or canceled appointments can help save your dental office thousands of dollars each year. In addition to the financial toll of missed appointments, it is common for a practice to experience a downward shift in employee morale and a lack of productivity. When you consider the long-term losses that are incurred from missed appointments, there is cause for concern. Not only does the practice lose money, but there are oral health conditions that may not be addressed that can develop into more serious issues.

Defining missed appointments

A no-show is where a scheduled patient neither cancels nor attends the appointment. One survey showed that 42% of patients will miss an appointment without giving notice to the staff and without being conscious of the ramifications. A canceled appointment provides a little more notice to the dental team, but it still has a negative impact on the office. The appointment time could have been given to a patient who needed to be seen by the dentist.

Though a loss of revenue is perhaps one of the more critical concerns for the practice management team, the impact on staff and other patients is equally negative. Being able to reduce no-shows and cancellations can keep schedules on track and promote a healthier, happier dental office environment.

Dealing with missed appointments

The following tips can help save your practice from thousands in lost revenue, a disrupted schedule, and missed dental care for needy patients. Though you may not be able to prevent all appointments from being missed, it is possible to reduce the frequency of them.

1. Automated appointment reminders

Send a customized text message, email, or voicemail to remind patients of the scheduled appointment. Automated services are more cost-effective and efficient than postcards or personal phone calls.

2. Employ text-messaging communication

Enabling two-way text messaging allows patients to proactively check or confirm the appointment time. Text messaging is convenient and can lead to patients requesting an appointment to be rescheduled or checking the cost of the visit.

3. Use online forms

Help save time by giving patients the opportunity to complete forms online. Patients who can complete the forms on a mobile device or a computer can avoid having to be at the appointment 15 minutes early. It can also free up the office staff as the information can be merged into the dental records more quickly.

4. Offer flexible financing options

Patients often avoid an appointment when there is concern over the cost of the treatment or visit. Flexibility in the way a patient is able to pay for a dental procedure can reduce frustration and encourage patients to keep the appointment in spite of the costs.

Deciding on other helpful healthcare practice advice

Our Patient Experience (PX) Suite provides digital solutions designed to help reduce cancelations and now shows while fostering a stronger connection between provider and patient. By working with Doctor Genius, you can create an engaging, revenue-producing dental environment that serves the needs of all its patients. Through our team of marketing specialists, we can craft a digital marketing strategy that improves patient retention and informs patients about important topics like oral health or the impact of missed appointments. Give us a call today to find out more about a custom plan for your practice.

Doctor Genius, located at 16800 Aston Street, Suite 270, Irvine, CA 92606, provides a range of services for practice success. We seek to meet our clients’ needs by providing a variety of marketing, SEO, practice optimization tools, and coaching to transform the healthcare experience. Though we work to provide the most accurate information, the content found on this website is solely intended for entertainment purposes. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is entirely correct. You may not use the information on this site to cure, prevent, or diagnose a perceived medical issue. If you have healthcare-related needs, please speak directly to a healthcare professional. Never self-perform medical treatments discussed on this website. All images displayed are also for entertainment purposes only, and personal experiences may differ. Please note that the business tactics mentioned on this site might not be applicable to your industry or practice.