3 Ways EasyFill Fixes Last Minute Cancellations

April 26, 2024
min read

Key Takeaways

  • Appointment Cancellations Cost Dental Practices: Up to $30,000 annually in lost revenue due to no-shows and last-minute cancellations.
  • Doctible’s EasyFill Solves This: Automates waitlist management and sends real-time alerts to fill open slots with patients who fit your criteria.
  • EasyFill Saves Time & Effort: Eliminate manual phone calls and notify patients on your waitlist via text message.
  • Boost Patient Engagement: Offer convenient appointment booking options like first-come, first-served, or maintain control with office approval.
  • EasyFill Demonstrates Results: Fills 40% more appointments on average, maximizing practice efficiency and revenue.

Fix Dental Appointment Cancellations with a Digital Waitlist

Running a dental practice can be challenging, especially when managing last-minute appointment cancellations. These broken appointments disrupt your practice’s daily workflow, lose you money, and create even more work.  

In a recent study, 85% of dentists highlight patient cancellations as the leading cause of below-capacity appointment scheduling.

For smaller dental practices, the impact of these missing patients is profound: One cancellation or no-show per day can result in losses of up to $30,000 annually.

Now more than ever, employing innovative tools to optimize your practice’s workflows is essential. Updated dental software also applies to how you handle your no-shows and cancellations.  

Doctible has a solution to all your cancellation woes: EasyFill. With EasyFill’s digital waitlist management and automatic schedule backfill with real-time alerts, your practice can defend against frustrating scheduling interruptions.

Problem: Last-minute cancellations mean your front desk has lots of phone calls to make

If cancellations aren’t frustrating enough, the phone calls staff must make to fill them cause even more trouble. They have enough to handle between readying treatment rooms, managing insurance, and much more.

Missed appointment phone calls are interruptions that slow your practice down.

Solution: Schedule backfilling

With EasyFill, you can select a contact list to send open appointment slot alerts in the event of cancellations.

For example, suppose a patient cancels their appointment in the morning. In that case, you can send a customizable EasyFill request via text message to a list of patients (sorted by appointment type or provider) to fill the opening. The first patient to confirm an appointment via the one-click link in the text is automatically backfilled from the request into your schedule.

You can notify patients scheduled for the same procedure, such as teeth cleaning, fillings, or root canals. Your contact list could include patients requiring urgent treatment or those waiting longer for an appointment.

EasyFill is similarly helpful for patients with punctuality issues and difficulty committing to appointment times.

With a proactive approach, you eliminate the time-consuming task of manually contacting patients to keep your schedule full.

With EasyFill, you can prevent a chaotic schedule and extra work, enabling focus on other essential tasks—like patient care.

Problem: Cancellations happen without notice  

Being blindsided by last-minute cancellations causes your team to scramble, and filling open appointment slots may seem fruitless. That’s because you’ll be hard-pressed to find patients that actually answer the phone.

Today, they’re much more likely to respond to texts. Patient engagement software exploded in popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, cementing the value of digital communication.  

One study mentions that 98% of patients like engaging with their providers via text messaging. And notably, nearly 96% feel these exchanges connect them more closely with their providers.  

EasyFill appointment cancellation alert in EHR and select patients to fill open time slot

Solution: Easy waitlist management

Once notified of a canceled appointment, you can trigger EasyFill to send appointment-available messages to fill gaps.

Patients on your customized waitlist are notified immediately of new appointment availability via text — no phone calls or voicemails are required. If a patient can take the open slot, they simply click the link to confirm.

This streamlined process conveniently and quickly fills gaps in your schedule, allowing you to be more efficient and stay on track.  

Plus, it opens up opportunities for better patient engagement, allowing you to connect more closely with patients. They will also appreciate being able to notify your practice of schedule changes more quickly.

Through Doctible’s patient communication solution, letting your office know about changes is less hassle. Patients are more likely to reschedule after canceling appointments when it’s easy.

Problem: Manually broadcasting a new opening creates more work

A full schedule is essential to your practice’s health, and there are financial consequences if you can’t fill its gaps.

Surveys have noted that up to 10% of dental appointments are canceled.

As a result, you could lose thousands of dollars.

Solution: First-come, first-served open appointment booking  

EasyFill gives you complete control over your calendar, no matter what happens. Along with appointment type and provider-sorted patient contact lists, which ensure the likelihood of appointments getting filled, EasyFill goes further. You can eliminate gaps in real-time on a first-come, first-served basis since patients can book when they want.

Moreover, you can further protect your schedule with office approval required to accept an EasyFill appointment confirmation. By having the final say in bookings, your dental practice ensures that the right patients are scheduled for the right appointments. It also prevents a range of scheduling mishaps like double bookings and allows you to evaluate factors like patient preferences, provider expertise, and the availability of resources.  

With EasyFill, your practice can have a consistent and predictable schedule, maximizing its potential and securing a consistent revenue stream.

Embrace the Power of Easy Scheduling with EasyFill by Doctible

In today’s fast-paced digital world, an effective patient engagement solution is more critical than ever for dental practices. But with a comprehensive digital waitlist management tool like Doctible’s EasyFill, your dental practice can handle last-minute cancellations and inefficiencies that harm your business:

  • Customized alerts: Tailor alerts to suit your practice’s needs, saving time and effort.
  • Appointment-available notifications: Simplify appointment filling by notifying patients of available slots, reducing manual work.
  • Flexible filling options: Choose between first-come, first-served or handpicked patients, catering to your practice’s priorities.
  • Office approval: Maintain visibility and control over your schedule.
  • Enhanced patient experience: Improve patient satisfaction, loyalty, and retention through a streamlined appointment booking process.

In fact, in a recent 2-month study, EasyFill demonstrated impressive results. On average, dental practices could fill 40% more appointments with EasyFill. This data highlights the potential of EasyFill to significantly improve the appointment filling process and optimize your practice’s schedule.

With EasyFill, your dental practice can be the adaptable, responsive, and efficient provider you’ve always envisioned — positively impacting both your patients and your bottom line.  

Last Minute Cancellation FAQs

What are the most common reasons patients give for last-minute cancellations of dental appointments?

Common reasons given by patients for appointment cancellations include sudden illness, conflicting schedules, transportation issues, fear/anxiety, and financial constraints.

How do last-minute cancellations impact a dental practice’s overall efficiency and productivity beyond just financial losses?

Last-minute cancellations disrupt schedules, lead to underutilization of resources, and can lower patient satisfaction.

Are there any demographic or socioeconomic factors associated with a higher likelihood of last-minute cancellations?

Demographic factors like income, transportation access, health conditions, and disabilities may contribute.

How does EasyFill’s notification system integrate with existing Practice Management Systems (PMS) or Electronic Health Records (EHR) software commonly used in dental practices?

EasyFill integrates with your current EHR to use existing patient contact details. It also backfills information from patients who confirm appointment bookings for open time slots.

Can EasyFill be customized to send alerts to specific groups of patients based on factors such as procedure type or provider?


What measures does EasyFill have in place to ensure patient privacy and compliance with regulations such as HIPAA when sending text or email notifications?

Doctible’s patient communication software uses leading data security technology and practices to keep you HIPAA and TCPA-compliant.


Campbell, K. J. (2021, June 15). Evaluating the Utility of Using Text Messages to Communicate with Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic. JAAOS Global Research & Reviews, 5(6), e21.00042.

Long, R. (2015, July 24). Reducing the Cost of Cancellations in Your Dental Practice. Dentistry IQ.

McGuire, J. (2014, January 17). No More No-Shows. Dental Economics.

Solana, K. (2022, March 1). HPI Dental Practice Schedules Were on Average 83% Full in February. American Dental Association.

April 26, 2024

See Doctible in action.

If you want the best digital patient engagement and marketing platform, you need Doctible.