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  • Writer's pictureDee Bills, Founder

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?

As and practice owner, former manager, and the Front Office GURU, I understand the difficulties you face because I've been there. And my programs provide the solution.

Unsure how to go about providing consistent training for your front desk? Struggling with same-day cancellations and no-shows or front office staff that aren't consistently handling patients who cancel? Unsure if you need front office training? Then schedule a FREE Discovery Call to learn more about my programs.

Wishing you the best, today and always! Dee


I started Front Office GURU with a single goal in mind and that’s to help private practices thrive. Your front office plays an integral role in your success and yet, most practices don’t have set training and systems to ensure that everyone in the front office manages patients the same way.

Don’t wait until the perfect time to get started because there will never be that perfect time, that perfect staff.

As a practice owner, former manager, and the Front Office GURU, I understand the difficulties you face because I've been there. And my programs provide the solution.

Are you struggling to train your front office team? Unsure how to go about establishing a proven training program for your front desk? Not sure where to start or what your options are?

Then schedule a FREE Discovery Call to learn more about my programs.


The Front Office GURU Training Academy is an online training platform for you and your front desk! It's great for team building and establishing successful systems and training for your front desk. And the BEST part? YOU don't have to recreate the wheel - it's ALL done for YOU!! Just set up your team and they can get started right away...

Your Patient Care Coordinators will feel welcome and supported as the training is ALL about them. And even MORE is coming soon! Click HERE for more info and get started right away!


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