Are you a practice owner or manager suffering from same-day cancellations and no-shows? Unsure how to handle them or what you can do about it? Are you giving your front office team scripts and policy and expecting they’ll enforce it, only to be met with uncertainty and inconsistency?
If so, you’re not alone.
When you enforce policy, you may find that your arrival rate rises for a short time, but the improvement doesn’t remain consistent. Eventually, it might even drop lower than where it was before you started enforcing it.
What happens when your front office doesn’t understand why patients cancel?
Most practices I speak with strive for a 92% arrival rate, but many struggle to remain in the low 80s on a good week. That was our clinic eight years ago, and it was very frustrating. So, it became my mission to solve the dilemma of the same-day cancellation/no-show issue, and our arrival rate now rests at a consistent 95-96%.
Anytime a patient same-day cancels or no-shows, they aren’t just hurting themselves or the practice. They’re also keeping other patients from getting in for care. So, avoiding the same-day, last-minute cancellation is essential for everyone you’re trying to help. And, well, no-shows are just a no-no.
Before you begin enforcing policy, it’s important to understand ‘why’ someone cancels or no-shows on the day of their appointment.
There really is only one simple reason; they don’t understand why they need to provide notice. If you’re like me and you’ve been around for a while, you’ve seen the change occur; I blame mobile phones and Amazon.
Life has become instantaneous. You can text me, and I can respond simultaneously. You can order something on Amazon, and there’s two-day shipping. And seriously, if you live in a neighborhood like mine with an Amazon facility nearby, you could even get it delivered as early as today!
While people’s needs haven’t changed, their demand for speed of service has. They want things immediately, to feel better right now, and to invest as little as possible to get results. Little time, little money, and little work.
If you want to ensure your patients arrive for care or give you enough notice, you need to ensure they understand what to expect from your care and what you expect.
Without understanding, people make up their own idea of what’s true and it will always be what’s true to them. And when you then try to enforce your policy on them, they’ll get upset and angry and might even stomp out of the office.
So, to increase your arrival rate, start by making sure that everyone understands the importance of arriving as scheduled.
Train your front office
Train your front office team, so they understand what they need from their patients. Train your patients so they know what to expect from your practice AND what the practice expects from them. Training will ensure everyone is on the same page and acting accordingly.
Are you unsure how to get everyone on the same page? Do you want a system you can use to train new hires and retrain your current front office team when arrival rate is down?
As a practice owner, former manager, and the Front Office GURU, I understand your difficulties because I’ve been there. And my programs provide the solutions you and your practice need.
Are you unsure how to provide consistent training for your front office?
Are you struggling with same-day cancellations and no-shows or front office staff that aren’t consistently handling patients who cancel? Unsure if you need front office training? Then schedule a FREE Discovery Call to learn more about my programs.
Wishing you the best, today and always! Dee