Why Patients Cancel

Are you a practice owner or manager suffering with same-day cancellations and no-shows? Unsure how to handle them or what you can do about it? Are you giving your front office team scripts and policy and expecting they’ll enforce it; only to be met with uncertainty and inconsistency?

If so, you’re not alone.

You may find, when you enforce policy, that your arrival rate rises for a short time, but doesn’t remain consistent. Eventually it might even drop lower than where it was before you started enforcing it.

Most practices that I speak with strive for 92% arrival rate; but many struggle to remain in the low 80's on a good week. That was our clinic 8 years ago and it was super frustrating. And, it became my mission to solve the dilemma of the same-day cancellation / no-show issue and our arrival rate now rests at a consistent 95-96%.

Anytime a patient same-day cancels or no-shows, they aren’t just hurting themselves or the practice. They’re also keeping other patients from getting in for care. So, avoiding the same-day, last minute cancellation is essential for everyone you’re trying to help. And, well, no-shows are just a no-no.

Before you go enforcing policy, it’s important to understand ‘why’ someone cancels or no-shows on the day of their appointment.

There really is only one simple reason; they don’t understand that they need to provide notice. If you’re like me and you’ve been around for a while, you’ve seen the change occur; I blame cell phones and Amazon.

Life has become instantaneous. You can text and I can respond simultaneously. You can order something on Amazon, and there’s 2-day shipping. And seriously, if you live in a neighborhood like mine with an Amazon facility nearby, you could even get it delivered as early as today!

While people’s needs haven’t changed, their demand for speed of service has. They want things instantaneously, they want to feel better now, and they want to invest as little as possible to get results; little time, little money, and little work.

If you want to make sure your patients arrive for care or give you enough notice, you need to make sure they understand what to expect from your care, and what you expect from them.

Without understanding, people make up their own idea of what’s true; and it will always be what’s true to them. And when you then try to enforce your policy on them, they’ll get upset, angry and might even stomp out of the office.

So, to increase your arrival rate, start by making sure that everyone understands. Train your front office team to ensure they understands what they need from their patients. Train your patients so they know what to expect from your practice AND what the practice expects from them. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and acting accordingly.

Are you unsure about how to get everyone on the same page? Want a system that you can use to train new hires and retrain your current team when arrival rate is down?

If you're looking for someone to walk your team along the path that the patient takes through care and how to best manage that patient to ensure they achieve recovery, schedule a Discovery Call to learn more about my one0-on-one Basic PCC Coaching Program.

Wishing you the best, today and always,


Since I started Front Office GURU in 2016, my #1 goal was that ALL private practices have access to my training and systems; but I recognize that private training and coaching isn't within everyone's budget. So, I decided it was time that I created an affordable online platform that would benefit all private practices and their Patient Care Coordinators.

In 2020, I finished my newest and most affordable training option - Fix Your Front Desk Academy. I designed the academy to help private practice owners and managers provide proven and effective training and systems for their Patient Care Coordinators.

Fix Your Front Desk Online Academy offers you:

  • 3 progressive course levels to progressively train your Patient Care Coordinators in proven patient management techniques.

  • Your purchase includes access for the owner / manager plus 5 team members.

  • Need to add more licenses as you expand? No worries, you can purchase additional licenses as you expand.

  • What if someone leaves? You can delete their access and assign it to a new team member!

  • Are you an enterprise or large group? We offer enterprise options for practices with more than 5 team members to train.

  • You also have life-long access to your purchase.

  • This training focuses mainly on managing patients in a PT, OT, ST, or chiropractic practice (but it can be applied across most medical and veterinary practices).

My online academy provides over 95 video lessons and practical questions, scripts, audios, and so much more! The training will guide your Patient Care Coordinators along the path a patient takes through care and provide clear instruction in patient management, objection handling, and building effective relationships to keep the patient on the path to recovery. I've also provided all the digital files they'll need for fast implementation of proven systems that increase their overall success.

Don't wait, get started today and give your Patient Care Coordinators the tools they'll need to fix your front desk systems.

CLICK HERE to learn more and start your team on the path to success!!!