If you own a dental or medical practice, there is a high likelihood that you have had to deal with broken appointments. If not, congratulations, you are superhuman… you can stop reading now. For the rest of us, we’re going to talk about how to fill broken appointments with Weave’s Quick Fill text messages.
Broken Appointments Mean Lost Revenue
Did you know that Weave’s data on a large number of practices shows that more than 1 in 10 appointments gets broken? People are busy. Their schedules change. Their financial positions change. Unfortunately, for the dentist or medical professional, this equates to lost revenue.
As if lost revenue isn’t painful enough, looking a little bit deeper at the cost of broken appointments adds insult to injury. If you look at a hole in your schedule, there are typically several costs associated with that time as well.
Practice owners don’t have the ability to cut costs associated with running a practice just because an appointment is not filled. You don’t send your staff home for an hour, turn of the electricity, or prorate your lease because you didn’t have a patient on your schedule (if only that were the case).
This means that revenue lost from broken appointments is almost all profit. The only costs you typically save when a patient breaks an appointment are the variable costs associated with the treatment.
To shine a light on the value that keeping a full schedule can add to your practice, let’s look at a scenario. Let’s say your practice produces $60,000 per month. Let’s also assume that your broken appointment percentage is 13%. This means that if you could reduce the broken appointments by 10% per month, you would add $6,000 to production. If your collection percentage is 85% and your variable costs are 12%, that is an additional $4,488 in net income per month. Take that out over a year and that is $53,856 in net income.
How to Reduce Downtime in Your Schedule With Quick Fill Texts
Clearly, it’s important to minimize broken appointments in your schedule. The real question is how. There are two aspects to look at if you are trying to minimize holes in your schedule caused by broken appointments. The first question that we should be asking if we are trying to minimize holes in the schedule is: “how do we minimize the number of patients breaking their appointments in the first place?”.
Once we have done all that we can do to stop patients from canceling, we can look at how to fill those appointments as quickly as possible.
This is where one of Weave’s features can add amazing value. Weave’s Quick Fill feature.
Quick Fill does just what it sounds like it is supposed to do. It is a list of patients that you input who want to be seen as soon as possible.
When a patient cancels their appointment, you click on your Quick Fill list, select the patients who have outstanding appointments that would fit in the time frame that you are trying to fill, and you can send all of them a text message that says something along these lines: “Hi _______, this is Janessa from Willow Creek Dental, we have an appointment available at 3 PM today. The first person who texts back can take that appointment.”
Now you have several people who may be able to get in, and you have put some scarcity behind the appointment.
There are several takeaways we are hoping to convey in this article.
First, broken appointments that are left unfilled are a huge drain on profitability.
Second, if you are using Weave, but have not taken advantage of Quick Fill, you should start using it right away.
Third, text messaging is becoming commonplace in business settings and can add tremendous value when used correctly.
Fourth, if you don’t have Weave, you should schedule a demo to see some of the other awesome features available. Quick Fill is just one of the amazing features that provide value to Weave customers.