Have you had trouble with last minute cancellations and no-shows? We’ve all been in that boat. You look at your schedule at the beginning of the week and it looks great. Every hygiene appointment is full and it’s been that way for weeks.
Then, the confirmation calls are made the day before and POOF, the whole thing falls apart. Now your stuck with just a couple hours before closing and the next day looks like Swiss cheese. There’s nothing you can do. Doesn’t make for a very relaxing evening does it?
The answer to your trouble is hidden in the last paragraph- the ‘day before’ call. For so many practices, this is the only communication between the day the hygiene appointment is made 6 months ago and the day of the visit. That’s the problem!
If you are experiencing more than 10% open time in hygiene, it’s time to refresh your confirmation protocol.
Here are a few ideas to use to give patients the reminders they need:
- Send out a postcard 2-3 weeks before the appointment
- Call 1 week before to remind the patient of their confirmed appointment
- Leave a message that compels them to call you back
- On that postcard-change the language to say “Call Jane when you receive this card to confirm your appointment”
- Make a ‘courtesy call’ the day before if necessary
Use an on-line recare system like Smile Reminder to help automate the confirmation process