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One of the most efficient things you can do to make your practice run more smoothly and be more profitable is to practice forward booking. Forward booking is the practice of scheduling a patient’s appointment in advance before they leave the clinic and it’s crucial for client retention, especially for your newest clients.

According to the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA), if your practice currently has a 5% forward booking rate and it increases to 10%, your practice could see 3% revenue growth. Granted, you shouldn’t anticipate forward booking 100% of future appointments, but it’s still a worthwhile practice to get into.  

Here are three ways forward booking can improve your patient’s health.

Improved Pet Health Management

Like you, pet owners have things going on in their daily lives that keep them on their toes. It’s understandable that someone would forget to schedule a future follow-up appointment. However, when you’re able to get them to book a future appointment before they leave the clinic, they’re more likely to come to that appointment. They’ll receive a notification prior to the appointment through the PetDesk app, and it will also sync up with their calendar, thus giving them a second reminder. 

Improved Preventative Care

When a client brings their pet in for an annual checkup, you’re more likely to detect a preventable health problem before it turns into a serious issue. 

Improved Follow-Up Compliance

There are some instances where the patient will need to be seen for a follow-up. When your client makes an appointment before leaving the clinic, you ensure that the pet receives proper follow-up care. 

Implementing Forward Booking at Your Clinic

The first step to implementing forward booking at your clinic is to get your staff on the same page. You’ll want to do this by creating a process that they should follow during checkout. 

When the appointment is over and the client is checking out, ask if the same day and time will work for their next appointment. They’ve probably encountered this checkout routine before (be it at their own doctor’s office or at the salon) and they’ll assume it’s part of your process and will be more likely to set a future appointment. 

Secondly, choose one staff member to handle forward bookings – at least until you’re able to track your success. Ideally, the rest of your team will learn the process along the way once all the kinks have been worked out. 

Forward Booking Helps Your Clinic Thrive

Scheduling appointments in advance, especially through the PetDesk app, can make your client’s life easier, your patients healthier, and your clinic busy. It’s not going to be the magical solution to all of your concerns, but it will have a positive impact on your client’s life and eventually your revenue. And, the sooner you get your staff in the habit of forward booking appointments during checkout, the easier it will be to ensure your patients receive the best care possible.