1. For all the wonderful technology at our disposal a vital step in keeping no shows and cancels low is to do a good job of educating patients while they are in the practice of the likely negative effects on their oral and overall health if they do not move forward with their treatment/recare.
2. Make sure patients understand that they have made an agreement to be there at a certain time.
3. Assign confirmation to one employee for accountability. That employee should have excellent communication skills. Ensure employee’s ear is "tuned" to lack of commitment phrases. Handle accordingly.
4. Determine which method of communication the patient prefers. These days that will likely be text or email. Only use postcards if the patient requests one or for your older patients who seem to prefer a postcard.
5. Reminders/confirmations are sent 3-3-1: Three weeks, three days, one day. That being said you can't be rote. Ideally your FD knows the patients well enough to customize reminder schedules. For example I never miss an appointment so I prefer just one text reminder a couple days in advance.
6. If no confirmation one day out the patient is called.
7. Operative is one day before unless booked well in advance in which case it's 3-3-1.
8. For NPs a call from the dentist welcoming them to the practice will cut down on NP no shows.
9. Have an active Short Call list to help plug up the holes in your schedule.