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Another Patient Appointment Cancelled? How Can You Solve this Problem?

It might seem that if someone makes an appointment at an aesthetic clinic, they should show up. In reality, however, patients do not always make it to the facility. This situation can be very damaging to your clinic's revenue. What are the reasons for this? And, more importantly, how to deal with them? Read on to find out!
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1. Cancelling vs a no-show

First, let us focus on an important aspect. What is the difference between cancelling an appointment and a no-show? If a patient cancels an appointment early, the clinic is able to reschedule it or fill the gap with another booking. In this way, the damage resulting from the downtime can be compensated. A lack of information from the patient that they will not show up for an appointment means a hole in the schedule, so a waste of time and money for your clinic.

The picture shows two words "Cancelling" and "No show" with an inequality sign between them.

Now let's move on to the common causes of cancellations or no-shows that you can do something about.

2. Nerves

Visiting a medical aesthetic clinic may make a patient feel anxious, even if it is supposed to be beneficial for them. As a result of stress, a potential client may become discouraged and give up the meeting. Awareness is the best solution to fear. During the initial communication with the patient, it is a good idea to make sure that all their doubts are addressed and that they have a good understanding of what is going to happen during the appointment. This will help the patient to get into the right mindset and feel much calmer. Learn more about How to Improve Your Communication with Patients.

On the left side of the photo you can see a lady in medical clothing. On the right a woman at home talking on the phone.

3. Lack of convenience

Is your clinic's appointment rescheduling process straightforward and clear to patients? If it is not, the number of no-shows may increase. To prevent this from happening, it is a good idea to focus on efficient patient communication that will ensure the entire situation can be resolved quickly. If you are too busy dealing with things other than replying to messages or constantly answering the phone, it may be the right decision to use a booking management service like InDesk.

Smiling Woman with head set talking.

4. Poor memory

The human memory is fallible, and not everyone is accustomed to jotting down all scheduled appointments in a calendar. Sometimes it is a good idea to assume in advance that a patient may simply forget about an appointment and develop a reminder system. Some statistics say that not providing appointment confirmations creates a 90% increase in no-shows. In addition, your patients certainly prefer different communication paths. Ideally, therefore, the appointment reminder should reach them through the medium of their choice. This is something that a dedicated InDesk virtual assistant can also help you with. In addition, InDesk agents have been trained to meet the needs of aesthetic medicine clinics. Learn more about how InDesk works.

Phone and notification graphics. On the left-hand side there is the text: "Appoinment reminder".

5. Poor communication

A gap in the working day can be problematic for every professional, especially if a profitable project was to be carried out during that time. To avoid this from happening, it is a good idea to make a patient feel excited about the appointment. Again, the solution to the problem lies in effective communication. Through in-depth consultation, showing commitment to provide the best possible care, and presenting a comprehensive treatment plan, the clinic can prove that patients have entrusted their health to the right clinic. Here you can learn more about Why Your Clinic may be Losing Patients.

Not every reason for cancelling an appointment can be remedied. Of course, there are emergencies nothing can be done about. However, the most common reasons for missing an appointment can be prevented by simple modifications, good organisation, and effective communication. A subscription to InDesk can be this kind of improvement for you. Let's take a look at the summary of the tips presented in this article:

- Always get contact details from the patient.
- Make a good first impression.
- Set reminders that will help patients remember about appointments.
- Give the patient time and attention during the consultation.
- Explain all steps of the treatment clearly to make patients calmer.
- Stay in touch with patients after the treatment to make sure that the healing process goes well.
- Get external help, such as the InDesk Virtual Receptionists.

How often do patients cancel appointments at your clinic, and what do you do to deal with that? Let us know!

Sources
Maria Kamińska
Maria is a copywriter and a student of Applied Linguistics. She puts the knowledge of the team working at WhatClinic and InDesk into words to convey it to the audience in an approachable way. She is passionate about foreign languages, especially English, German, and Spanish. In her free time, she meets with family and friends, drinks good coffee or… writes.

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