Icon Appointment Cancellation
Appointment cancellations

Difficulty: Simple  //  COVID-19

Why run this play?

As an increasing number of patients choose to limit their trips outside the home, including non-critical medical visits, it can have a dramatic effect on current scheduling and future revenue. This play looks back 13 months so you can establish a daily baseline of typical appointment volume and cancellation volume for the prior year, and compare it on a daily basis, so you can adjust your forecasting to predict and manage future shortfalls. It could also influence the way you deploy human resources during this crisis.


Across the country, many people have been advised to shelter at home, or have decided to limit their outside activities, including medical visits. This dropoff is anticipated to last between 14 - 45 days, and is an unprecedented phenomenon. The more data that is available to understand its scope, the better.

Take Action

  1. Look at the past 13 months of Appointment information from your Scheduling system.  You will need to be able to count unique appointments by date and, from those, how many cancelled.  

  2. Breaking my month, you should be able to view a baseline trend of the typical volume of appointments and cancellations.  You can break this data by Appointment Type, Appointment Location, Hospital Service, Facility, etc. for a more detailed view. 

  3. Since the COVID-19 issue began in early March in earnest, we recommend another report that looks at appointments and cancellations by day, starting March 1.  

  4. Additionally, you can extend the time frame of your included appointments into the near future for a glimpse of how many future appointments are being cancelled.

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How to Calculate This Play's Value

Scheduling systems have built in flags or codes that indicate when an appointment is scheduled and cancelled.  Many even track a standard reason for cancellation (or general reason). You can use this data to find the unique number of appointments and the number of those that cancelled.

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