No show appointments: Medicos might have an answer

You know how frustrating it is to have a client call at the last minute and cancel an appointment or worse still, just not show up.  Not only does it negatively impact your productivity it can be soul destroying when you consider what you could have organized to do with that time.  No matter how you look at it, time is our limiting (and non-storeable) resource.

Our friends in the health care industry seem to have got a handle on this issue.  Dentists and doctors now routinely contact you the day before your appointment to confirm that you will be there.  This serves as a reminder to you as well as an opportunity for the service provider to slot another patient in.  Could you do the same thing?  Do you do that?

Recently, I noticed an interesting no-show policy used by the University Health System here where I live in Nevada:

“You are required to call our office to cancel 24 hours prior to your appointment.  This allows other patients who are in need of a doctor’s care an available appointment.  If you fail to cancel 24 hours prior to your appointment you will be assessed a $25 fee which will be added to your account and must be paid in full prior to any follow up visits.  If you fail to show up for a scheduled appointment more than twice during a one year period, you may be asked to seek care from another service provider.”

This is not what you’d call a very customer-friendly policy (not that you’d expect that with most of the US health care facilities) however, it does make some sense.  When clients fail to show up for meetings they are wasting your time.  If they are serial time wasters you should seriously consider telling them “to seek care from another service provider.”  Just a thought.