Broken Appointments with Optical Services

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You have a booked day- and for whatever reason, patients don’t show up. You and your staff’s time is valuable, so what do you do?

Everyday nationwide tens of thousands of optical patients fail to show up for their appointments or broken.  Practice losses for each missed appointment can significantly add up. If you think about it- 5 no- shows for a week at an average of $200 an appointment- $1,000/week or $52,000 per year. Not only that broken appointments diminish the offices efficiency, increase operating costs, decrease revenue and waste human resources.

UGH! – or moreover you should ask- why didn’t they show? Does it have to do with 1.) how they feel about their appointment? 2.) how they feel about you? 3.) Are they ambivalent? 4.) Are they dissatisfied?  Now some Doctors are starting to charge for cancelled appointments, (how warm and fuzzy is that?)

So what can you do?

  • First Start tracking- who is not showing up. By age, by sex and any other information.
  • Second- Call them and ask them why they didn’t show up. Develop a survey of key questions to ask each patient.
  • Third- Go to the Internet and check out your ratings.
  • Fourth- Set up a Preventive Plan to reduce your no-show rate

3 Stragedies for Reducing Broken Appointments and No-Shows

1.) At the end of every appointment- The Doctor and each staff member needs to stress the the patient the significance of the next appointments.

2.) At the Reception Area- stresses again the importance of the next appointment and tries to schedule the next appt. now.

3.) At this time, The Appointment Booker, should inquire about Patient transportation capabilities, child care and job.  (A huge no-show issue) Make a note of issues in the file, and make the appointment confirmation days in advance as too book transportation or child care.

3.) Confirm Appointments 1-2 days before either by phone or email. I personally like email because I can sync it to my calendar!

Articles on Charging for No-Shows

  • Interesting information from Wiki Answers about missed Dental Appointments
  • Consumer Watchdog.org- offers some advice about charging for no-Shows
  • Musing of A Dinosaur– Family Practice Doctor, with some interesting consumer comments.
Kala Mid Page