How to Reduce Missed Appointments - Owl Practice Blog

How to Reduce Missed Appointments

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Is there any worse feeling than realizing that you forgot an important appointment? Every time you get hit with a wave of guilt and shame, worried that you just wasted someone’s time.

Often, that’s what happens when a client forgets about an appointment with their mental health professional. Depression and other mental health conditions can dramatically impact memory, sometimes resulting in unintended no-shows. Your client wanted to show up, but it simply slipped their mind, or they just didn’t have the energy or drive to get out of the house that day.

At Owl Practice, we’ve put a lot of work into discovering ways to help minimize any no-shows and missed appointments. With our practice management tools, you can ensure that your clients show up when they are supposed to and get the help they need!

Let Them Book Online

It can be easy to forget an appointment when you weren’t the one who made the appointment. However, if you need to go to the trouble to book something yourself, the appointment time sticks with you.

That’s why many mental health professionals are benefiting from our Online Appointment Booking feature. Not only is it a huge time-saver, but it can also help to minimize missed appointments. Giving your clients the control to book their own sessions can be remarkably effective at ensuring they’ll show up.

All your clients need to do is log into your Owl Web Portal to see your availability. From there, they can pick a date and time that works best for them. While this feature is only available to those who have our Premium package, the reduced missed sessions mean that this feature can pay for itself over time!

Remind Them!

Even if you have an appointment in your calendar, it can be easy to let it slip your mind. You could get confused and think that the appointment is next week, or mistake what day it is. The best way to avoid these situations is through Reminders.

The Reminders feature is easy to set up! You simply go into a client’s profile and set up several customized reminders for them. These will be sent out at appropriate times to remind them when they need to be at your practice for a session.

You have the choice to send these reminders through SMS (texts), email, or both. For example, let’s say that you have a client who easily loses track of the days of the week. You can set a scheduled reminder to be sent to them the day before their session and another sent the next day, an hour or so before their session. Your clients will very likely appreciate these reminders!

Online Sessions

Going to public spaces isn’t fun right now—you need to put on a mask whenever you enter into a public space, and even then, you still might be nervous about the potential of a COVID-19 infection.

This added stress might be too much for those who are already not a fan of leaving their home. They could know perfectly well that they have a session that day, but cannot pull themselves together enough to head to your practice in-person. Or maybe they have a physical disability that makes it difficult to travel. That’s why our virtual Video Therapy features are so powerful and useful!

While nothing beats an in-person session, a virtual session across Owl Practice’s Video Therapy platform can be almost as good. Best of all, there’s no prep needed. Your client just needs a webcam and a computer—or a phone/tablet—and they can have their session right on their own couch.

Video therapy can also be a fantastic option for those who forgot they had an appointment but remembered at the last minute. Rather than trying to race to your practice, they can log onto Video Therapy. While this isn’t ideal, this can be a great way to ensure that they get the help they need AND you get paid.

Circle of Care

With our Circle of Care system, you can link together the profiles of multiple clients. This can be a fantastic way to help prevent no-shows!

For example, if you have a group session coming up, you can send reminders to everyone separately. Or if you’re treating an adolescent, you can send a reminder not only to them but also to their caregiver. All of that information will be stored in your client’s Circle of Care!

When a client misses a session, it can be more than just an inconvenience. If you’re a small practice that depends on your client base, a missed appointment can have a major impact on your bottom line. But when you’re working with Owl Practice, those missed sessions will be a thing of the past!

If you’d like to experience everything that Owl Practice offers, we invite you to book a 14-day free trial or a demo today. And if you have any questions or comments about our services and video therapy tools, please contact us at support@owlpractice.ca.

As Always,

Practice Wisely

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