1. A call from one of the dentists to the new dental patient welcoming them to the practice can be quite effective in preventing new patient no shows.
2. No shows will decrease to the degree your dental patients are properly educated.
3. For chronic broken dental appointment patients I believe it is best for the Scheduling Coordinator (SC) to handle (at least three broken appointments or is not sorry after the second broken appointment) by say the following:
SC: “I’m sorry, but I just can’t schedule another appointment for you. When a patient misses an appointment it really throws a wrench in our schedule and the dentist/hygienist ends up doing nothing when they could have been seeing one of our other patients who may have been waiting two weeks or more.
We have so many patients who really need these appointments so I can’t schedule another appointment for you but what I can do is call you when I have a last minute cancellation. I feel terrible about this because you’re at a point where you really need to get something done about your gums. They’re just going to get worse and I don’t want to see you ignoring your dental care.”
“If someone cancels at the last minute I’ll call you. If you can make it great! Or you can stop by when you have an extra hour or two. If we can get you in we will.”
The key to a high percentage of appointments kept is getting the patient to understand that he has made an agreement with you to be there at a certain time. He or she needs to know that the dentist/hygienist is setting aside time just to see him and that it will adversely affect your schedule if they do not keep their agreement. You respect their time - you only ask that they respect yours in return.