3 Ways to Reduce Your "No Show" Problem

Are you sick of your patients not showing up for appointments? Wasting your time and money!

We all know the feeling.

You have an appointment in 10 minutes, so you’re scrambling and rushing to get everything ready. Counting down the minutes to when the patient arrives.

As the clock ticks closer to the hour, your mind starts coming up with patterns between your interaction with the patient and you get this gut feeling that something was off.  Leading you to think she might not show.

The appointment time arrives and you start making excuses for the patient. Maybe she got stuck in traffic or she’s about to walk in the door any time now.

Five minutes past the hour and your hopes start waning… Another “No Show” patient… You won’t be treating a patient that hour… You won’t be making money…

“No Shows” suck!

Could you have prevented this?

I’m going to give you 3 ways to reduce your “No Show” problem.


The idea is to give your patients the opportunity to make a commitment to you to show up for the appointment. The commitment doesn’t need to be big. A small commitment will do.

In the book, Pre-Suasion by Robert Cialdini, he talks about a British medical study which used commitments to reduce no shows.

“ A standard practice designed to reduce these no-shows involves calling patients the day before to remind them of the appointment. In a study led by my colleague Steve J. Martin and conducted in British medical clinics, such efforts reduced failures by 3.5 percent. But the reminder calls required time and money to deliver and didn’t always reach their targets. Compare that to the wisdom of employing a commitment procedure. When making a future appointment after an office visit, we all know what happens. The receptionist writes down the time and date of the next appointment on a card and gives it to patients. If, instead, the patients are asked to fill in the card, that active step gets them more committed to keeping the appointment. When this costless procedure was tried in the British medical clinic study, the subsequent no-show rate dropped by 18 percent. ”

Just by asking the patient to fill out a card caused the no show rate to drop 18 percent! That’s fascinating!


Peoples lives are busy these days. In addition, we’re easily distracted

Look, a new cat video!
Much of our life is run on an interrupt basis. Unless something pops up to remind us, we easily forget about it.
Another way to reduce no shows is to give your patients a reminder, whether by phone, email, or text message.
This way, you bring the appointment at the top of their mind!


There are many ways to hold a patient accountable to showing up to their appointment.

One of the most common ways is to take a patients credit card when booking an appointment. Then, when they no show, you charge them full or partial payment.

Losing money is a hard and effective lesson to learn! The power of financial incentives is a tool many clinics use.

There you go… 3 ways to help you with your no show problem.

I hope this gives you a few ideas for how you can reduce them.

Jasmine provides several features to help you reduce no shows. To learn more, email me at mintotsai@jasminepm.com to schedule a demo!

Minto Tsai

P.S. If this helped you, please Like, Share, email… all the social network love you can give!