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FAQ-No Shows and Cancellations

No Shows and Cancellations

By Christy Yoder, RN MSN CASC CPHQ

Director of Outpatient Clinical Services

You have often heard the saying, “Time is money”. Everyone wishes they had more time, and yet there never seems to be enough of it. Medical offices plan time very carefully.  We set aside rooms, equipment and paid personnel specifically for each appointment. We make considerations for patient conditions and how long a visit is expected to take. Often times, our schedules are booked up for months.  Two things that negatively affect our office schedule are no-shows and late cancellations.

The dictionary defines no-show as a person who reserves a space but does not use it or give it up for someone else to use. Late cancellations are those times when a patient calls us to cancel but within 24 hours of the scheduled appointment. Both are equally detrimental to our day’s schedule and our goal of timely service to all.

In order to prevent forgotten appointments we send an automated reminder call to every patient.  So, when a patient does not give us sufficient notice, it is unfair to other patients who have to wait for an extended time to have an appointment. Additionally, it is difficult to maintain a medical relationship with patients who do not attend scheduled visits.  Medical conditions require continued care and active participation from patients. In order to be engaged in the process, patients need to be seen by a provider.

Digestive Disease Associates and Berks Center for Digestive Health have policies in place for patients who have frequent no shows and late cancellations. While we do not charge for missed appointments, we do track them.  Each patient is given an opportunity to reschedule these types of missed appointments twice. After the third time, a patient may be dismissed from our specialty practice and provided information about other providers outside of our area who can deliver care.

We encourage all of our patients to give our office at least 24-48 hour notice, if  unable to attend a scheduled appointment. Not only is this considerate, this notice allows us to serve more patients in a timely manner and keeps the costs associated with medical care under control. Most importantly, it allows us to give our patients the highest quality care.  We know how hectic life can be, and we are committed to making our practice convenient and accessible to all. Please help us run smoothly by communicating with us in a timely way when you cannot make your appointment.