8: The No Call, No Show Dental Patient

8: The No Call, No Show Dental Patient
Anything But Dentistry

 
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The No Call, No Show

Now, I can only speak for myself. I like to be prepared for my day.

This means that when someone has significant treatment planned, I also have a significant amount of preparation for that appointment.

If they have an appointment reserved, and I’m prepared, AND they do the “no call, no show” – I get concerned. My first thought is for their health and safety. Once I find out that everything is fine, then I think – well, then… what happened?

Some people can’t seem to make a reservation in our schedule that they can keep. If you have one of these patients going through active treatment, it can be extremely frustrating.

This is our system for dealing with patients like these, that we haven’t been able to coach in other ways.

Step 1

Make sure they are ok

  • I would hate to have someone think that I only cared about why our time was being wasted when they were being life flighted to a hospital.
  • Then check out Episode 4 for ideas about what to do with your new-found free time.

Step 2

Learn about their challenge in keeping a reservation.

  • Unpredictable work schedule
  • Caring for an ailing family member
  • Kids schedules

Step 3

Help them by first trying to accommodate their individual needs. Flexibility needed, call them when there is an opening? Predictability – maybe find their best time and make sure to give them frequent reminders. Maybe double check that they are getting the reminders where they want them.

Whatever you can figure out together, try it.

Step 4

Evaluate the patient.

Do you like them?

Do they pay with gratitude?

Do they show up on time? [obviously, this group of patients have a challenge in this area.]

Do they need significant dentistry?

Step 5

If they are a patient that you really want to work with, then the next step is not to asses a fee but a reservation fee. Like a hotel.

The first time that you introduce it, make sure to waive it as a courtesy to the patient. Nobody likes a surprise.

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