'No-shows' in a veterinary practice refer to clients who don't show up for their appointment. Do you know what percentage of your clients are no-shows? Most available data suggests that the average no-show rate amongst most veterinary practices is approximately 10%. PetPartner.co reported data from more than 250 practices in 2014, and their no-show rate was 11%.
How impactful is a 10% no-show rate, and is it something we should monitor and try to reduce? Consider the following scenario. If the average one-doctor practice generated $700,000 in revenue, and they experienced a 10% no-show rate, then the average one-doctor practice would be impacted negatively by about $70,000 from no-shows. Is that worth monitoring and reducing? Most practice owners would agree that it is.
How do you reduce no-shows? Consider the following:
- Start tracking no-shows. Measure them daily.
- Look at the no-shows for any patterns. When were their appointments made and by whom? Examine the process and communications that have been used. In most cases, changes are necessary.
- For clients whose appointments were made months ago, send an email approximately 2 weeks before their appointment as a reminder. Offer them the simple ability to confirm or reschedudle if needed.
- Consider a brief phone call reminder the day before the appointment to confirm.
Measure no-shows continually to be able to make adjustments to your processes. Monitor and reduce no-shows to improve practice performance.