Reduce Broken Dental Appointments Now
Reduce broken dental appointments or eliminate them almost entirely! Of course, no one can predict everything that happens in life. Cars break down. People get sick. And unexpected elements present themselves in our day. But there are steps we can take to reduce broken dental appointments every day.
Let’s start with today. Because today is always the most important day in your dental practice. At least, when we are talking about schedules. So, let’s take a look at today. And see what we can to make sure every patient on the schedule shows up!
The Power of Great Communication
Review the office reschedule policy when you make an appointment with a patient. Keep the tone light and make eye contact during each and every one of these conversations.
Ask your patient to commit!
Here’s an example for you:
“Okay, Mrs. Jones. I have you on the schedule for Thursday, May 3rd at 2:00. We are going to ask you just one more thing. If you could, please, give us 2 business day’s notice, should you need to reschedule? “
Then, wait for your patient to respond. Don’t be in a hurry to say anything. Hold this pause until they commit.
The patient should commit to call the office should they need to reschedule within your policy requests.
Reduce Broken Dental Appointments With Patient Compliance
Ask for a commitment from your patient. If your patient does not say “yes, I can do that” or something similar, ask again!
“Mrs. Jones, are you able to call us at least 2 business days if you find you need to reschedule this appointment, please?”
Wait for it. Once you receive patient agreement, schedule away!
Reduce Broken Dental Appointments by Reconfirming
Hopefully, you have an automated confirmation and communication system. And this system offers your patients their preference of confirmations. Be that a text message, an email, or a phone call.
But there may be some patients on your schedule today that have not confirmed. All unconfirmed appointments must be confirmed. Make another phone call.
Reconfirm Every Unconfirmed Appointment
Consider checking unconfirmed appointments a day in advance. If I’m unable to confirm a patient the day before, I may just remove them from the schedule.
Especially if I have any doubt at all that the patient will show up! Of course, I will always notify the patient that I am going to remove them from my schedule.
Reduce Broken Dental Appointments
With Confirmation Deadlines
I give patients a deadline to respond to a confirmation. And then I plug in a waiting patient that I know absolutely wants that appointment!
What if that scheduled patient gets upset? It could happen. But my goal was to have a completely productive and confirmed schedule. I didn’t intend to upset anyone.
And quite honestly, not responsible for that patient’s response. Communication was clear. A confirmation was requested. Notice was given. I explained what would happen if I didn’t hear back.
The office can offer to reschedule this particular patient and to call them with anything sooner. That’s really the very best we can do.
Reduce Broken Dental Appointments Through Training
Reduce broken dental appointments through solid systems, training, and supporting documentation for your team.