How to Keep Your Practice’s Schedule Full
The two words that you never want to hear.
As much as you’d like to prevent it, patient cancelations are unavoidable, whether it be due to transportation issues, family commitments, or financial troubles. Not only do no-shows and last-minute cancelations leave gaps in your schedule, but they also cause your practice to lose money.
And lost revenue isn’t the only cause for concern — the patient’s treatment plan is also disrupted. So, how can you put a plan in place to schedule patients more effectively? This article will discuss how to keep your practice’s schedule full, in turn saving you both time and money.
How to Schedule Patients More Effectively
1. Implement Online Scheduling Services
How could your practice benefit by having patients simply book and reschedule their appointments online — day or night? According to appointment scheduling statistics in the last year, 43% of patients prefer the flexibility of scheduling their appointments online. If your practice isn’t already using online scheduling software, you could be losing business and even inconveniencing your current patients.
In addition to keeping your schedule full, online scheduling services are also the best way to reduce phone calls to take a load off your staff, allowing them to focus on other tasks to help bring more patients in the door. Even if some patients prefer to call in, having both options available is by far the best way to optimize your schedule.
2. Use Automatic Appointment Reminders
Want to cut down on no-shows and last-minute cancelations? Then your practice should be taking advantage of the most popular form of communication: text messages.
By sending automated appointment reminders to each patient’s cell phone in advance of the visit, you drastically reduce the chance of them missing their appointment. This is the most proactive approach, which works much better than trying to get in touch and reschedule an appointment after they’ve already canceled.
Keep in mind, you’ll have the best results if this is two-way texting. If a patient has a question or requires a change in their appointment, then your staff should be able to respond via text message with ease. You’ll find that having your staff utilize this quick and direct communication with patients greatly cuts down on missed appointments and keeps your schedule at full capacity.
3. Improve Your Local SEO
How much effort have you placed on improving your practice’s local SEO? If it hasn’t been a major concern, then now is the best time to start.
Local SEO is important in showcasing your practice as the premier doctor’s office in the area. Ensuring that you have the right system in place to gain more reviews will help boost your local SEO dramatically. This will allow new patients to easily find your practice in Google search results, helping you with schedule optimization by eliminating gaps between patients.
If you weren’t already convinced, Google statistics show that mobile search inquiries for “near me” have increased by over 200% between 2017 and 2019.
As the number continues to grow, that means more and more people are searching for terms like “doctors near me.” Improving your local SEO with outstanding reviews will bring new patients in the door and keep them coming back.
Want More Help Keeping Your Practice’s Schedule Full?
Interested in finding out more about how you can keep your schedule full at all times and avoid revenue loss? Zingit can help you generate 10X the reviews, automate your daily scheduling tasks, follow up with patients, and much more.
The easy-to-use text-based patient engagement platform will help you position your practice as the leading physician’s office in the area, allowing you to scale your practice more than ever before.