Monitor and reduce no-shows

'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%. 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:

  1. Start tracking no-shows.  Measure them daily.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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