Combating Chiropractic No Shows

December 21, 2020

Does your chiropractic practice get a fair share of no shows? It’s not uncommon, but here are a couple of ways you can cut down on the number of missed appointments.

1. Appointment reminders

Appointment reminders are a great way to make sure that patients keep their appointments. You can provide appointment reminders in a few ways.

  • Appointment reminder card - Oftentimes patients like to schedule their next appointment at their current appointment. A best practice is to have appointment reminder cards printed that have your practice information on them. This way your patient can have a physical reminder that they can put on their desk or fridge and it also serves as a bit of subtle advertising for your practice if anyone else sees it.
  • Email - Email is another great way to send appointment reminders. You can also include a calendar attachment so that your patients can easily add the appointment to their iCal, Google Calendar or Outlook.
  • SMS/Text message - Although email is great, a text message is a more direct reminder. Sending an appointment reminder a day or two before the appointment gives your patients a reasonable time to cancel if something changed in their schedule. Also, sending a follow-up reminder a couple of hours before their appointment is a great final reminder so that they forget.
  • Phone call - The good old fashioned phone call is one of the best ways to remind patients. Especially those patients who might be more technologically adverse. Give your patient a call a day or two before their appointment. It’s also a great way to build rapport.

You can do any combination of the appointment reminders listed above. If you’re going to use SMS and call, you might just want to do one text message the day of the appointment and use the phone call as the appointment reminder a day or two before.

2. Have a well-communicated missed appointment or cancellation policy in place

Another great deterrent to missed appointments is to have a clear policy in place for rescheduling or canceling appointments. You want to make sure it’s communicated to all patients so there is no confusion. You can include it on new patient paperwork, a sign in your office, and your website. It also doesn’t hurt to mention the policy to patients verbally when they’re scheduling their appointments. 

You’ll have to come up with a missed appointment policy that works for your practice. Standard policies usually include the chance to reschedule an appointment at no cost if done 24-48 hours before their scheduled appointment. However, if a patient were to cancel or reschedule within the 24-hour window, then it’s not uncommon for some practices to charge a fee.  Many times this fee works well in helping to ensure that if a patient needs to cancel or reschedule that they do so in a timely manner.  Also, the fee will help you recoup some revenue for missed appointments.

As always, we hope this blog post provided you with some helpful tips. If you want to learn more about chiropractic appointment reminders and how we can help you, then please email us at

Jessie Wilkie

Jessie loves marketing. As a creative and analytical person, she loves exploring creative ways to help Chiropractors grow their practices. She has seven years of digital marketing experience along with her MBA from Cal Poly Slo and her Bachelor's from UC Santa Cruz.

Business Advice, Chiropractic Marketing