180 Riverside Dr. East, Drumheller, AB


What’s the Deal with No-Shows?

You've likely seen those dooming signs in some medical offices that warn you: "All no-show appointments will be charged $50 for the missed visit." These threats are generally made to avoid missed appointments that could have been used by other patients that day requiring treatment or management. But charging patients hasn't been proven to be successful in preventing no-shows, nor does it correspond with a patient centred model.

That is the primary reason we care about No-Shows: they use up a space in the physician's calendar that could have been used by another waiting patient. In Alberta, it is estimated that an average family practice physician has 5-10 no-shows per week. That's 400-500 appointments missed per year.

Some clinics have opted to overbook – like airlines – to fill the spots that "may" be empty that day because of the statistical numbers of daily no-shows. We don't want to do that because it reflects a mistrust of our patients and a disrespect for the patient-physician relationship. It also isn't much better than charging patients for missed appointments. Put bluntly, we aren't big fans of these methods – we know stuff comes up – and we'd prefer to find a way to manage changes with communication between both parties versus penalties.

This brings up the same day appointments: we have those for those last minute issues that arise – just noticed a prescription needs a refill, you daughter has an ear ache that isn't going away, or that nagging cold seems to be getting worse, not better. We have same day appointments for those last minute emergencies, so if you are thinking of coming in but unsure whether you need a formal appointment, you can always wait and decide to book a same day appointment. I say book the day of because patients with booked appointments will also always be seen; therefore, it's important to call us for a same day appointment to see what would be the best time to come in.

If you have no-showed, send us a message on Facebook and let us know why: felt better? Wait time was too long? No longer needed the appointment? We appreciate your feedback and this can help us in turn help you to improve our patient service and flow.

What we do ask: just call, email, or Facebook to cancel. The ideal is 3 hours prior to the missed appointment. Yet let us know, even if it is within an hour – just drop us a quick line to tell us that you won't make it. We won't mind – we know life happens. It'll give us an opportunity to call another patient to come in or take an extra walk-in request.

Thanks again for helping us improve health care services in Drumheller!

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Our Location

Riverside Medical Clinc is located on the third floor of the Riverside Health Centre Building. Our Physicians are here to service your medical needs.
Riverside Medical Clinc PO Box 1990
180 Riverside Drive East
Drumheller, Alberta
T0J 0Y0
Phone: 403-823-5000
Fax: 1-403-961-0016