Dr Mark HassedIt's 9.15am Tuesday morning and Mr Jones has an appointment at 10.30am. The phone rings:

“This is Mr Jones. I can't make it today. I'd like to make another appointment for Friday.”

The receptionist replies: “No worries, what time on Friday suits you?” And on it goes.

Mr Jones has an appaling record. Out of his past four appointments he has failed two, cancelled one with late notice and turned up to one. That means the dentist has used 2 hours of their time and gotten to do only a ½ hour of treatment.

When you also add in today's late cancellation the financial impact is shocking. If practice overheads run at $200 per hour and represent 50% of revenue then treating Mr Jones over the past five appointment has cost the practice a $300 loss.

I understand that the economy has tightened and that receptionists are desperate to fill the appointment book but letting people like Mr Jones walk all over you is not the way to go. Some years ago when I started a new practice and had zero patients I still would not tolerate this behaviour.

In a future post I will share a system for keeping control of people like Mr Jones.

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