PetDesk Blog

What Pesky No Shows Actually Cost Your Veterinary Practice

Posted by Drew Davies on 11/18/15 7:30 AM

How much do missed appointments cost your veterinary practice each year? [cue Jeopardy music]

If you’re like most practice managers and owners we speak with; you probably don’t know because you’re not tracking it. But no-shows are costing you a lot more than you think.

Based on data we pulled from over 250 veterinary clinics, the average no-show rate in 2014 was 11%. That’s higher than you thought, isn't it? But what exactly does an 11% no-show rate mean to your practice? 


Let’s assume that one full-time doctor represents 3,000 appointments per year, and that the average revenue per appointment is $125. The chart below shows the average revenue loss per year based on the practice size (# of doctors) and average no-show rate. Take a look:

average revenue lost per year based on practice size

The obvious point we are trying to make is that no-shows are an incredibly expensive problem for most veterinary practices (regardless of whether you are looking at the data or not).Based on those assumptions, the average veterinary clinic loses $41,250 to no-shows per year for each full-time veterinarian on staff. That means a mid-sized 3 doctor practice with an average no-show rate loses $123,750 each year to missed appointments. Even if that same practice is at 9%, they are still losing over $100K to no-shows.

But, as the saying goes, “inside every problem lies an opportunity.”  

veterinary no show appointments are an expensive problem

Let’s use the same data, but instead of looking at what it costs, let’s look at how much revenue can be generated through small improvements to the no-show rate. The chart below shows how much additional revenue would be generated if you improved your no-show rate from the 11% average.

revenue that can be gained through small improvements to the no show rate

A small single doctor practice that improves their no-show rate from 11% to 7% will generate an additional $15,000 in revenue per year! A 3 doctor practice that can improve their no-show rate from 11% to just 8%, increases revenue by over $33,000 per year. That is certainly not pocket change.For each percentage point your no-show rate improves you will generate an additional $3,750 per year per full-time doctor.

Simply put, small improvements in your no-show rate will make a big impact on your bottom line.


 So how do you improve your no-show rate? Well, first, you have to start measuring it. As management guru Peter Drucker said, “if you can’t measure it, you can’t improve” and we can help measure no-shows (as well as other Key Performance Indicators). To help you get started we offer a free Practice Management Report that covers two years of data in areas such as appointment efficiency and growth, clinic growth, and compliance.

If you want to take the first step to driving more revenue, request a FREE Practice Management Report! We will pull your data, generate a report and then schedule a call with you and one of our Practice Management Consultants who will walk you through the data, identify any problem areas and talk about through some modern best practices to help you make improvements.

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