Physical Therapy

How to Prevent Patient No-Shows

Patient no-shows can cause your physical therapy clinic a lot of problems. No-shows mean your patients are missing out on therapy they need, and your clinic is losing money. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely prevent no-shows (life happens), but they can be significantly decreased in order to increase revenue and improve patient outcomes.

Here are a few easy things you can do to make sure your patients show up for their scheduled appointments:

Keep patients involved in their care

Allow your patients to have more control over their health. One way to do this is by asking them to establish goals and creating a concrete plan of care for them to reach those goals. Be thorough in explaining the importance of consistency and keeping themselves on track. If a patient understands why they’re doing therapy and the results they will achieve, they’re more likely to attend all their appointments. If they feel confused or like they’re going nowhere, it’s easier for them to put off therapy.

Use appointment reminders

This tip is pretty basic but a surprising number of clinics still don’t utilize appointment reminders. Many of your patients are busy with work, kids and life in general! A simple reminder is all they need to stay on schedule and show up for their appointments. You can send appointment reminders by text, email or phone call (or a combination of these!).

Manage your schedule

Managing your schedule is more than just filling your schedule with evals and therapy appointments. You also need to keep track of those patients that DO miss appointments and follow up with them immediately. Don’t let any patients slip through the cracks or go without rescheduling. No-shows will happen no matter what, but the more you can reschedule, the better shape your business will be in.


There are lots of ways to keep your patients engaged and decrease cancellations and no-shows. The best thing you can do is stress the importance of therapy to your patients and track any appointments that go missed or cancelled.

What steps do you take in your practice to prevent cancellations and no-shows? Let us know in the comments below!

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