Should you turn away tardy patients?

July 4, 2008

I'm tired of waiting for patients who show up late for their appointments. To discourage this, I'd like to have my staff tell anyone who arrives more than five minutes late that she must reschedule for another day. Does this policy seem reasonable?

I'm tired of waiting for patients who show up late for their appointments. To discourage this, I'd like to have my staff tell anyone who arrives more than five minutes late that she must reschedule for another day. Does this policy seem reasonable?

Only for patients who routinely arrive late. Keep in mind that people sometimes get delayed for legitimate reasons. You don't want to needlessly offend them by applying a hard-line approach to everyone. Instead, have your receptionist tell your normally prompt patients that they may have to wait a while to see you. And when habitually tardy patients arrive, have the receptionist politely explain that they must either reschedule or wait until you've seen all your other patients.