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4 Reasons Patients Don't Show Up,

by Sally McKenzie, CEO

It seems like it happens almost every day. A patient calls at the last minute to cancel their appointment, or just doesn't bother to show up at all. This immediately throws your practice into chaos, as Suzy your Scheduling Coordinator frantically tries to find someone to fill the spot. If she doesn't, everyone knows you're not going to meet that day's production goals, which not only causes you and your team undue stress, it eats into your bottom line.

You might not want to think about it, but the fact is broken appointments cost you thousands of dollars in lost revenue every year. And while you're never going to completely eliminate cancellations and no-shows in your practice, you can significantly reduce them. How? First you have to understand why patients don't show up. I've put together four reasons patients don't make dental appointments a priority, and what you can do to change that at your practice.

1. They Don't See the Value of Dentistry
When patients don't understand the importance of maintaining their oral health, they're much more likely to skip out on their appointment times. That's why education is so important, and should be part of every patient interaction.

Remember, patient education comes in many different forms. You can use your intraoral camera and patient education videos to educate them chairside, then reinforce that education with brochures and other educational materials at the front desk or in the waiting area. When you mail patients their statements, include a pamphlet on periodontal disease or the benefits of implants. Sending an email? Include an article about the oral-systemic link, or the importance of regular oral...

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