"Why do you want 48 hr notices of canceled appointments?"

“Why is it so important that I give 48 hrs notice of an appointment change?”

It is a win-win for everyone 

By helping us with following this courtesy, we are able to structure our schedule so we can see emergencies the same day or asap. 

Bear with me by allowing me to explain in a little analogy, which is admittedly not so little. Imagine this:

Scenario 1: 
Your elderly mom or child  is in great pain and distress.  She is in terrible tooth pain, cannot sleep, cannot eat, and has a swollen face. You and we, want her to be seen by our office asap . 

In order to help her we like to take time to be thorough, figuring out the problem and taking care of that problem. That requires time in a dental chair, reserved specifically for her so that the doctor and his team can give her their undivided attention and take care of the problem properly.

However what if you call us, and we are fully booked...that is to say we have all our dental chairs reserved for patients and have no physical space to seat her  so we can help her. We scramble to find  even 20 minutes open time  for her , however  the doctor and the  team are working on people in all the  reserved chairs. We have to take time away from the people in their reserved  chairs, and make them wait.  Then the 4 people in the 4 reserved rooms now have their appointment times extended late by 30 -40 minutes because we spent it with your mom. 3 people are waiting 30 minutes in their chairs after seeing the hygienist for 50 minutes,  to get their check-up exams from the doctor now.  

We are always careful not to rush so that we can do the best quality job possible. Each person is now late in their personal schedules (work, picking up their kids from school etc). People in the reception are now waiting an extra 40 minutes to be seen. That is terribly stressful for us...we want everyone to be treated well, comfortably, and on time. If this were to occur a few times in the day then imagine how late we are running for everyone else that needs to be seen that day.

Scenario 2:
You get off the phone with us...we are unable to give you more than 15 minutes that day, and we would need 80 minutes to the job right, ideally...we are putting your mom in between our reserved clients.

Then a certain “Mr. Jones “ forgets his reserved dental appointment. He was to be here for a 70 minute visit with the doctor. He forgot to come and never called us to tell us in advance he could not make it. We sit and we wait. And wait, after 20 minutes we realize  he is not coming...now we have 40 minutes available so we rush to call you—“can you get here in 2-5 minutes so we can use this 30 mins with your mom/child in the doctors' chair?”

No, you say. It is physically impossible for you to get here that fast.

What a shame. If only we  could have had  that 70 minutes to treat someone and get them out of an emergency situation.
 

WHAT IF IT WERE DIFFERENT?

What if  Mr Jones knew he could make his visit 48 hrs in advance and remembered to text us ,email  or call us . Then we have than 70 minute block open . When you call the next day...and we have not filled that space...we can see your mom and take care of her problem promptly , in the doctors' chair with all the care and attention she deserves and we like to give everyone.

It is a win win for your mom, for us and Mr. Jones.

If everyone remembered to give us notice when they cannot come...we can block our times so well,  that we have a much better chance to see someone promptly and take care of them in the manner they deserve to be treated, in a reserved chair for undivided attention.

That way a child who fell of the swings at recess and lost a tooth, can be seen right away and given the attention they need.

Or that person  who could not sleep for 2 nights because of severe tooth pain, can be seen and taken care of with the proper time they need to get the job done right.

But what if i cant come because I woke up with the flu? Or I had a unexpected emergency?

We understand that these things happen to all of us at some time or another.

There are people however, who just never make the effort to be courteous to a team of professionals who only want to help them.

These people  do not show up at ALL, (without notice) repeatedly...3, 4, times or more . Or they come 25 minutes late for a visit that was reserved for 40 minutes and they become irate that we will not see them and need to re-book them. 

We know how much time that is needed to do a health care procedure properly.  What we mean by Properly is we  work according to legal and ethical standards of care. That is what you trust us to do, that is what you pay us to do.

We will not in good conscience pretend to give you a 40 minute job in 25 minutes, where we know you have been given substandard work. We do not feel comfortable if you ask us to do that even if you know you are not getting proper health care. That is not a win win for anyone. You would not want a medical surgeon to do that for a procedure would you? Or even your hair stylist?

Proper time in our chair+ proper heath care= comfort for your visit= good value for your health care dollars= looking and feeling good for you.

We like to be understanding that the unexpected happens in all our  busy lives . We have developed a system that works well for us to keep providing the highest quality of care for every patient. That is by  properly managing your heath care with proper chair reservations made especially for you.

If appointments are missed entirely without 48 hr notices ...we will mail you  the following note:           

We Missed You Today!

Dear Mr. Jones,    

    We appreciate your patronage very much.  However, there are many people who need dental treatment and must wait for weeks for an appointment.  In order to treat patients as efficiently as possible, a time has been reserved specifically for you.  Unfortunately, we missed you for your appointment.

 

    _____  This is the first appointment you have missed.

There will be no charge for this broken appointment.  If appropriate, please call our office to reschedule your appointment.

 

    _____    This is the second appointment you have missed.

There will be a charge of $ 40.00. All further appointments for the family have been deleted. Your balance must be paid and appointments must be prepaid before any future appointments can be rescheduled.

 

    _____    You have missed three or more scheduled appointments.

You must now seek professional services elsewhere.  We will be available

        for emergency services for a period of one month.

 

Our cancellation policy is firm for some good reasons we would like you to understand.

First, you lose because you don’t get needed dental work done on a timely basis.  Since we are booked several weeks ahead it may be a while before we can reschedule your needed appointment.  Second, other patients lose because we are unable to call them in time to come in and take the time slot we reserved just for you.  We have a long list of patients who are anxious to get in and are willing to come in on short notice.  If you do not call us in time, or worse, if you do not call us at all, you deprive someone else from using the spot reserved for you.

We often attempt to contact patients two days before their appointment as a courtesy.  Once you have scheduled an appointment, however, it is your responsibility to keep it whether we have contacted you or not.

If you will be unable to make your appointment, please give us at least two working days notice so we may offer the time slot to another patient.  Late cancellations are treated the same as broken appointments.

Robert M. Zaichick   D.D.S..