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  • Writer's pictureDee Bills, Founder

What happens when patients have to wait to be seen (& what to do about it)

Do you have a long wait to get a new patient in for their initial appointment?

How does that affect your new patient arrival rate?

A new patient who has to wait to be seen for their initial appointment is more likely to cancel or no-show for that appointment.

A patient who needs your help today but has to wait to be seen might:

  • Take more medication to decrease their pain. And, as pain and inflammation diminish because of the medication, they believe their problem is fixed and they don’t need you any longer.

  • Seek help elsewhere and don’t bother to call you.

  • Or they just forget.

Each of these leads to:

  • A lost patient who may not have gotten the care they needed

  • Another patient who couldn’t get in for the care they needed because you saved that spot for the original patient

  • An empty spot and lost revenue

  • Clinical staff don’t have anything to do during that slot

Each one of these make the practice less efficient and less effective.

Because every new patient who doesn’t arrive represents a lost plan of care and lost revenue.

It also means that your front office staff have more work, and you’re going to spend more in marketing and promotions.

To prevent someone from having to wait too long, here are several things you can do:

  • Have evaluation spots built into your schedule. This helps the team reserve time for new patients, and it keeps new patients flowing onto your schedule.

  • Set a plan of care and stick to it. Get the patients in, seen, and achieving their goals quickly and efficiently. Don’t let them lag in their care because when this happens, they don’t get results quickly and they’re more likely to be dissatisfied with your services and drop out.

  • Train your clinicians in best practices for care. That means teaching them how to handle objections to the prescribed plan of care; and not let the patient tell them what the care will be.

  • Train your front desk how to manage patients to get them in for care. You need them to know what to say to fill your schedule with patients who will arrive for care. And how to make sure they arrive for care.

Patients Have to Wait

With The Front Office GURU Training Academy®, you can have the tools you need to provide consistent training to your front desk.

When you provide consistent training, your team is more successful and success in their position helps to decrease turnover.

Here are just a few of the essential topics we cover in this program:

  • How to have the right mindset when speaking with patients.

  • How to get more new patients to schedule and arrive for their evaluation appt

  • How to talk about the cost of care and handle patient worries about costs

  • How to PREVENT cancels and no-shows (and also how to handle someone to keep it from happening again)

  • How to fill your schedule and keep it full

Watch this video to learn more:


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