Last minute cancellations can be frustrating, but they can be a good thing too if your office is prepared to handle them. Working to regularly fill cancellations has a huge impact on your practice’s bottom line and keep your office moving smoothly. Here are three ideas for dealing with last minute cancellations at your rheumatology practice.
Create an active list.
A clear and detailed waiting list allows you to have a back-up plan in the event of a last minute cancellation. An efficient waiting list allows you to use your available resources more effectively. Provide patients with an opportunity to enter their name on a list. If an appointment opens up, you will have information about potential patients who are ready and willing to come in. Set up a system to immediately alert patients of a schedule opening. You can quickly fill that open slot and make both your patients and your bottom line happy!
Establish a cancellation policy.
Create a policy that encourages your customers to show up when they make an appointment. Make sure your policy directly reflects you, your practice and your patient base. If your policy and your specific demographic of patients don’t match, you will lose them. Keep this in mind as you create your policies and work on putting them into place. Experiment with different techniques and implement the method that works best with your patients and your rheumatology practice. Whatever policy you settle on, be certain that your policy is provided in writing for your patients to clearly see.
Utilize appointment reminders.
One of the best way to deal with last minute cancellations is to try and prevent them. Ensure you are using effective reminders for your patients and make sure they are tailored to fit their needs. Ask your patients which method they prefer and then contact them that way. Make sure your reminders and consistent and done in a timely manner. If you want to rely on your patients, its important they can rely on you.
Unfortunately, there not a one-size-fits-all solution to handling last minute cancellations, but being prepared and knowing how to make the best of a bad situation can help. While these ideas are important, the key is to be flexible, professional and organized. If you have any ideas for handling last minute cancellations, please share them on our Facebook page!