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?

At Front Office GURU, we offer training, systems, and coaching to ensure your practice becomes efficient and effective and preventing same-day cancellations and no-shows. You can get started as early as today. Sign up for a FREE Discovery Call to learn more about how we’ve helped practices across the USA and Canada take control of their arrival rate.



In May 2020, we're releasing a game-changer! Front Office GURU has all new training that will be accessible for practices of all shapes and sizes! Our new program, Fix Your Front Desk will offer online training videos, scripts, audio files with demos of the most important scripts, frequent webinars for your front office team, and so much more!

You can get on the notifications list today and receive more information. Every practice that's on the list before May 15, 2020, will receive an introductory monthly rate and will get to sign on right from the beginning. CLICK HERE to add your name to the list!

Read Bri's Success Story below:

Bri's Success Story | Front Office GURU

“Many wins have been achieved since our office took on the Front Office Guru program. It has been stressful at times, but so rewarding in the end. When Dee told us about the Pink Unicorn “challenge” it seemed nearly impossible. I mean, that is why they call it a Pink Unicorn day right? Let me tell you what, it is not an easy task to do, but it can be done with hard work and dedication.

When our company first started our Guru training, I thought to myself, “I am never going to remember any of this”. It is a lot to take in but becomes a habit with a win at the end of each day. On July 29th I had my first Pink Unicorn Day and it was the highlight of my week, especially being on a Monday! I was such a pushover when it came to upset patients and handling patients. Learning how to handle a patient has made my job so much easier! I am more confident when I talk and when I tell a patient I need them to do something. When I successfully handle a patient, I refer to “going guru on them” and it is a great feeling to be in control and still be respectful. I am thrilled to keep training with the Front Office Guru program and continue to become a better patient care coordinator. A special thanks to Dee for dedicating her time and effort in creating awesome patient care coordinators!”

- Bri, Patient Care Coordinator, Chautauqua Physical and Occupational Therapy, NY


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