Why No-Shows and Cancellations Are Hurting Your Veterinary Practice

As a veterinary practice manager, you understand the importance of keeping your schedule full. After all, a full schedule translates to healthy pets and a healthy bottom line for your clinic. But let's face it, no-shows and cancellations are a constant battle these days for veterinary clinics everywhere.

The impact goes beyond a simple annoyance. Let's break down the numbers:

  • Lost Revenue:¬†Industry averages suggest a no-show costs a clinic roughly $200 per appointment. With 1-3 no-shows or cancellations a day (a common occurrence!), that's up to $12,000 per month or $144,000 per year ūüėĪ.
  • Wasted Staff Time:¬†The prep work for an appointment doesn't happen magically. Staff spend valuable time gathering records, updating files, and preparing for the visit. When a client doesn't show, that time is lost, impacting overall clinic efficiency.
  • Scheduling Tetris:¬†Rescheduling no-shows creates a domino effect, disrupting the flow of your day and potentially delaying care for other pets.

The Ripple Effect of Missed Appointments

No-shows and cancellations aren't just a financial burden; they can negatively impact patient care:

  • Delayed Diagnosis and Treatment:¬†A missed appointment could mean a crucial window for diagnosing or treating a pet's health concern is missed.
  • Frustration for Other Clients:¬†When no-shows disrupt the schedule, other clients may experience longer wait times or rescheduled appointments.

Turning the Tide on No-Shows and Cancellations

The good news is, there are steps you can take to combat this challenge:

  • Streamline Appointment Reminders:¬†Utilize a client experience platform to send custom automated appointment confirmations and reminders via text or email.
  • Offer Convenient Booking and Communications Options:¬†Give clients the flexibility to schedule and reschedule appointments online or contact the clinic via phone, text, or email.
  • Consider a Deposit Policy:¬†A small deposit for clients can act as a deterrent to no-shows. We‚Äôve seen clinics reduce no-shows by over 80% just by collecting a small deposit.
  • Cancellation Waitlist:¬†Keep a waitlist of clients up-to-date and available to backfill cancellations as quickly as possible.

Are you a veterinary professional? Learn more and see how Oliver can help your clinic stop no-shows and cancellations.