Doctors can increase revenue by as much as $100,000 by all but eliminating the missed appointments. Here’s how….

First, look at the historical scheduling patterns for the past 30 days to get the average number of no shows and double-booked appointments. If it’s more than 2 a day your scheduling is out of control and you are losing money. It’s time to look at scheduling parameters; the amount of time allocated on the schedule for different patient types.

Second, abandon the typical “everybody gets 15 minutes” because it isn’t realistic and it isn’t happening. All things aren’t equal so schedule based on patient types and consider shifting to 10 minute increments to allow more flexibility. I call it the “Go-Ten” scheduling system and it works! Scheduling 10 minutes for follow-ups, 20 minutes for chronic or more complicated patients, 30 minutes for new patients and pre-ops, and 40 minutes for annual physicals is a perfect example – but you decide what works for your practice based on your patients.

3rd, honor the schedule – start on time and stay on time! And if you don’t want patients to make last minute cancellations you must do the same. Once you get this wired down you can start training everyone to value the appointment.

4th, script out language for staff to tell the patients how important the appointment is. “Doctor is dedicating this time just for you” or “We expect you to be here on time.” These are strong messages that get the patient’s attention.

Finally, set up an automated appointment reminder system that confirms appointments 48 hours in advance. It’s a great return on investment.

Enjoy the results; more compliant patients, getting out of the office on time and a bump in practice revenue!

Contact Judy Capko, one of America’s best known practice management consultants: www.capko.com

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