Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Do I break the appointment or just deleted it?

The single biggest pain point in the dental practice is holes in the schedule. WhenWhat is the difference between breaking an appointment and deleting an appointment?” Just the other day I encountered an office that was leaving the missed appointments on the appointment book so they could track them. What happens in these situations is that the office has not had any formal training or been given any resources on the best practices for managing the appointment book so they just make up their own system for tracking missed appointments.
I write about keeping the schedule full, it is always a big clicker. One question I receive a lot is, “

Keeping your schedule full is a management system that needs to have a protocol in place so that the entire team knows what to do when a patient misses an appointment and what steps to take to fill that opening. Today, I would like to give you all some best practice tips on what to do with the appointment if the patient does not keep the scheduled appointment.

  • Move the appointment to the Unscheduled List if the patient does not reschedule and you want to follow up with the patient. If you do not want to lose the appointment details, then you can store the visit on the Unscheduled List for a short period of time so you can make a couple of follow-up calls. There are two ways to get an appointment onto the Unscheduled List
    • Wait/Will Call the appointment – Use this if the patient did not show and gave you adequate time to fill the open time. Some offices have a 24- to 48-hour no-show policy so, if the patient cancels outside of that policy, then I would use the wait/will call feature.
    • Break the appointment if the patient is a no-show or cancels inside of your cancellation policy. When you break the appointment, it will put a note on the Office Journal and track the missed appointment on the Family File for future reference.
  • Delete the appointment if you do not need to follow up with the patient and just want to remove the appointment off your appointment book. When you delete an appointment, it will only show up on the Audit Trail and this task can also be password-protected.


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