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Appointment Scheduling

Best ways to handle patient appointment cancellation

Canceled appointments are counterproductive to healthcare practices and can also prove detrimental to patients’ health. Busy schedules, other priorities or casual attitudes; the reasons can be endless, but a canceled appointment creates a huge lag in treatment follow-ups and also causes loss to medical practices.

Missed or canceled appointments are not the good news of practice growth. Too many cancellations can fail your appointment schedule system and increase the waiting time for other patients. If you, too, are facing a high patient cancellation rate, we have a few tips for you to increase your show-up rate-

Send reminders to your patients
One of the most effective ways to reduce cancellation is sending reminder texts and notifications to the patients. Forgetting about medical appointments is not strange in busy schedules. A reminder text, call or mail can work wonders for medical practices. Automated reminders are one of the rapidly adopted solutions proving very helpful for practices. Send them reminders before 24 to 36 hours to avoid last-minute cancellations, depending on your cancellation policy.

Implement a cancellation policy
It is not mandatory to charge a fine from your patients for not showing up or canceling the appointments at the last moment. Simply setting up a cancellation policy and conveying the same to your patients can effectively reduce the episodes of frequent cancellation. Communicating the cancellation window works best in managing the no show-offs. E.g., establishing a rule that patients must notify at least 24 hours before the cancellation can bring a substantial reduction in last moment cancellations.

Propose Tele-consultations
There can be many reasons behind canceled appointments. However, offering teleconsultations can actually convert canceled medical appointments into video/audio consultations. This way, you retain your patients and save your resources from getting wasted. Patients can connect from anywhere, and the precious time of both doctor and patient gets saved.

Offer easy rescheduling
By providing ease of rescheduling to your patients, you can retain your patients. However, the cost of canceled appointments remains. The rescheduling option serves the bigger picture. New patient acquisition and patient retention are as important as avoiding cancellation. By offering easy rescheduling, you achieve the first two and effectively tackle the appointment cancellation.

Manage your waitlist
With the help of an effective practice growth solution, utilize your waiting list to fill in slots that arise due to canceled appointments. By offering vacant slots to patients on the waiting list, medical practices can easily manage the scheduling and deal with canceled appointments.

Modern-day patient growth solutions offer effective ways to manage medical appointment cancellation. Skedule.care offers a premium solution for managing appointment scheduling in healthcare practices. We bring the ease of adding online appointment scheduling to your practice in under five minutes. We understand your unique needs and provide customized solutions. Get started with our seven days trial now and feel the difference.

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