8 ways to reduce no-shows in your therapy practice
By Fletcher Dennison
No-shows and late cancellations can really hurt the bottom line, not to mention the time they waste. The keys to preventing no-shows is clear communication and maintaining great relationships with your clients. Here are some tips we’ve gathered from some of our SimplePractice members:
- Look for trends- Track the reasons a client gives for no-shows and you may find a solution to help them. Is a particular day of the week or time of day especially difficult for them?
- Reschedule missed appointments as soon as possible. Get on the phone and talk to the client about rescheduling as soon as possible. You can’t wait for clients to call you back, they have many other things on their mind and your appointment may not be the top priority.
- Provide the option for clients to receive text, email or voice appointment reminders.
- Ask new clients to opt into receiving email, text and voice message reminders.
- Identify clients with a history of no-shows and schedule them in a time slot that will have less impact on your overall schedule if they cancel.
- Encourage good behavior. Always thank clients who reschedule or cancel in advance.
- Clearly explain, and have new clients sign, a written no-show policy.
- Keep a client credit card on file to make late cancellations and no-shows simple to charge.
A recurring theme in this list is the appointment reminder: email, text, or voice mail. Studies by large healthcare providers show that these types of automated reminders significantly reduce no-shows and save considerable time and money. At SimplePractice we offer all three types of reminders, giving therapists in private practice the tools of much larger providers. You can learn more about them here.
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