A patient no-show can damage your optometric practice. The absent patient and empty chair creates revenue loss in your practice, a disruption in productivity for your staff, and throws off your entire patient scheduling. Although a patient no-show isn’t completely avoidable, you can reduce the occurrence of them happening in your optometric practice using these tips.
How to Reduce No-shows in Your Optometric Practice
Create a No-show Policy
When no-shows turn into a regular occurrence, your patient schedule is affected, and your optometric practice success is put in jeopardy. Creating a no-show policy may reduce the likelihood of a patient not showing up for their appointment and may lower the financial burden your practice will face because of the no-show.
When creating the policy, have in writing what the consequence for not showing up is, and the deadline for canceling or rescheduling the appointment before you administer the consequence. As the patient schedules their appointment, remind them of the policy and explain the importance of the exam.
Praise Punctual Patients
Prompt patients are great. They keep your optometric practice running smoothly and reduce the stress of having to rework your patient schedule. When you have punctual patients, it’s important to reinforce these habits by rewarding those patients who are always on time and always show up. Consider entering the punctual patients into a monthly drawing for practice discounts, gift cards, or anything else you think will be of value to your patients.
Use a Patient Recall System
Like your optometric practice, your patients also have a busy schedule. Sometimes, appointments get missed because the patient forgot about it and planned something over it. Since your patients may schedule your appointment a few months in advance, it’s important that you make regular attempts to touch base with the patient to stay top-of-mind and remind them of their next appointment.
Patient recall systems help your practice keep up with patients and your schedule by sending automated appointment reminders to your patients through a phone call, email, or text. Using the patient recall system, you can reference the no-show policy as well as provide instructions for rescheduling the appointment if it no longer works for the patient.