7 Ways You Can Increase Appointment Compliance

7 Ways You Can Increase Appointment Compliance

Posted by Positive Impressions on Apr 12th 2024

For veterinary clinics, no-show appointments waste your time and mean that a pet isn't receiving the care they need.

Appointment compliance should be a top priority to keep your schedule full and maintain the health of each pet you see. A pattern of no-shows may go back to communication, including when and how you notify your clients of their upcoming visits and your clinic's emphasis on the value of routine care for your clients' pets.

From sending magnet cards with your clinic's information to better understanding who is visiting your clinic, these tips will encourage your clients to keep up with their pet's health care while helping you keep your practice busy.

1. Understand Your Clients - Including Why They May Be Skipping Appointments

How do your patients prioritize their upcoming veterinary appointments? As a general guideline, clients want to feel a sense of purpose, and in the case of their pets, following a care schedule and working toward particular pet health goals show that they're not wasting their time.

To support these points:

  • Make sure you, as a veterinarian, can fully focus on your client during their visit.
  • Develop a set of goals or milestones for each pet based on their unique needs, whether that's following an immunization schedule or getting regular grooming appointments.
  • Reward your clients for showing up and following your recommendations - consider giving away pet promotional products, from leashes to waste bag.
  • Track your patients to identify a no-show pattern, including why they skipped or canceled at the last minute.

2. Create a Reminder System

With everything going on in their lives, your clients will likely forget their upcoming veterinary appointments. Using veterinary supplies like magnets, appointment cards and reminder cards, along with digital notifications, establish a schedule that includes at least one physical reminder a week before the appointment, a digital reminder one to two days before and multiple mediums for easily getting in contact with your office. Automate as much as you can to reduce work for your staff.

Additionally, tie your reminder system in with a pet's care schedule. Is it time for heartworm, flea or tick treatment? Has the client's pet had a dental cleaning lately? Encourage clients to book appointments for these services alongside their regular clinic visits. This helps you keep their pets' health on track and ensures they receive the care they need to remain healthy and happy for years.

3. Automate and Categorize Reminders

A good practice management system should efficiently schedule reminders for you. However, there's more to scheduling than sending a generic reminder. Every pet needs different health care, depending on their species, age, size and other factors. Make sure your reminders communicate the purpose of the visit and follow the veterinarian's recommendations for care.

4. Make It Easier to Book Appointments

If you only book appointments by phone, clients can only contact you during business hours. Adding online booking lets them schedule appointments after hours, or as soon as they receive a reminder.

5. Go Multi-Channel

While clients may have one preferred way to be contacted, you'll have better luck getting them in by doubling your points of contact. According to a study conducted by Vetstreet, combining postal and email reminders can increase compliance by almost one-third.

6. Always Forward The Appointment When Possible

Make sure your clients book their next appointment before they leave your office. It's easier to get them on the schedule while they're thinking about their pet's health, and it's on them to cancel or reschedule the appointment at a later date.

7. Give Them a Window

Giving clients a list of available times can sound daunting, especially when there are several slots available. Instead, give them a window of time when appointments are available. Mentally, it's easier to deal with "between 8 and 11 a.m." than to check multiple individual time slots. From there, they can choose which time is best for them.

8. Schedule in Blocks

Handling the same type of appointment in a given time frame saves time on setups, and helps you manage your clients and patients. This cuts down on wait times for clients, and helps you manage problems connected to these appointments, like interactions between pets.

9. Give Your Clients Something to Take Home

In addition to pet promotional products that they'll use on a daily basis, booklets covering a pet's schedule of care or condition provide a degree of post-appointment guidance. Indirectly, this move encourages the client to do more research and keep up with regularly scheduled care.

Also, make sure you clearly list what the client needs to do at home to follow their pet's treatment plan, including which medications to order, how frequently they need to be administered and in which conditions.

Order Veterinary Supplies That Improve Client Compliance

Positive Impressions, LLC has the products you need to build relationships with veterinary clients and keep your practice on their minds when their pets need routine or emergency care.

We carry reminder cards and business cards, as well as promotional products like bandannas and leashes. Many of these items can be customized, so you can add your practice information and your choice of graphics. See how we can help your clients stay on track with their pet's care by visiting our website to see what we offer, or by checking out our Facebook page to see our latest specials.

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