Using the Word “Cancellation” When Speaking to Patients

Posted on March 27, 2013 by Sandy Pardue

Take the word “cancellation” out of your vocabulary.

There is no reason to use the word in ways like, “If we get a cancellation” or “we will probably get a cancellation” or “we just had a cancellation.” You want patients to think this sort of thing rarely, if ever happens.

Calling patients and saying something like, “Hi Susan, this is Sandy from Dr. Green’s office. We had a few cancellations for tomorrow and I’m wondering if you can come in” sends a message to the patient that schedule changes are normal and the practice expects them to happen.

You want patients to think that “canceling” an appointment is something that rarely happens in your practice. Use the word “change” with your patients to better communicate appointment openings. You want patients to think it is NOT normal. If you expect cancellations, chances are it will happen.