How to Reduce Patient No-Shows: Proven Strategies You Need To Know

For you to be effective as a medical practice, your schedule needs to be efficient and smooth. However, patient no-shows are the enemy of the financial success of your business. As a medical practice, you have to set up measures that deal with no-shows.

Strategies recommended vary from patient reminder software to keeping a waiting list to having a no-show policy. To inform our readers and medical practices in the country, our team has unpacked a few items to consider.

Daily reminders

Task your staff members with the responsibility of calling each patient in the afternoon before the appointment. The verbal confirmation/ cancellation from the patient will allow you to prepare yourself adequately.

The only issue with such a method is the lack of effectiveness. There are other solutions in the current market that are more effective and efficient. Such as the next strategy.

Installation of a patient reminder service

In this day and age, simple, repetitive tasks are being automated, increasing the productivity and efficiency of human resources. One such service that has revitalized the medical scene is the use of automatic patient reminders.

The service makes use of a patient’s contact information, sending messages and email before the D-Day. Through the service, the patient is also able to confirm or cancel their appointment.

A waiting list

Even with the most sophisticated software or application in the market, no-shows are something of an inevitable issue that medical practices have to deal with. A patient might be held up in traffic or unable to disentangle themselves from the office. What do you do at such a time? Have a waiting list ready.

A waiting list typically consists of patients who live close by, who can make the appointment within short notice. You will have included the days and times that they are available. Once an appointment is canceled, be quick to reach out to them to cover up the possible loss of income.


Just because a patient has not shown up for the appointment doesn’t mean that you should completely blacklist them. It might be because of an unavoidable circumstance.

Wait till they are late for about 15 minutes, then initiate a call. Don’t use harsh tones when calling them up. You should use a concerned and patient tone. This will give you an upper hand and possibly be the foundation of a good relationship.

By doing this, you are ensuring that they book another appointment and also that they will adhere to the timelines set. In addition, you might just have gotten a longtime client on board.

A written no-show policy

Time is money. And every time that a patient is a no-show, you are missing out on valuable income while incurring costs. To curb those habits in the bud, put in place a no-show policy where patients face penalties and fines.

If you are using a patient reminder service, you can insert the policy as a pop-up dialog box. They should only cancel if they are aware of the terms of your no-show policy.