We work very hard to stick to our schedule so that you can have the appointment time that is most convenient for you, and to minimize your wait in our reception room. We rely on our patients to keep their appointments as scheduled in order to stay on time, and make appointment time available to those who really want it. When you schedule an appointment with a provider in our office, whether it is treatment with the doctor and/or assistant, or a hygiene appointment with one of our Hygienists, we’ve reserved that time exclusively for you, and it means that we may have turned away another (sometimes more than one) patient that wanted that time. We feel badly when we turn away a patient who desired treatment at that particular time, and then find out that they could have had it if only we’d known you weren’t coming.
In addition, a failed appointment means that we have to pay a staff member, and in most cases, several staff members, for the time that you reserved. It is extremely expensive for the practice to pay staff during a failed appointment; the failed appointment fee is largely symbolic and in nearly all cases, does not even come close to covering the cost of your missed appointment. In order to fill that time, we need a minimum of two business day’s notice. This gives us time to call patients on our waiting list to inform them of time available, and gives them time to check their schedule and call us back to let us know if that time will work or not. In some cases, we may have to make eight or ten calls, leave messages, and wait for people to call us back – just in order to fill a single cancellation. It’s worse when someone just doesn’t show up for their appointment, or cancels without proper notice, because we are unable to fill that time.
Please be aware of the expense, difficulty, and frustration that cancelled or failed appointments cause, and that excessive cancellations and failures cause fees to go up for everyone.