Words In Motion Speech Pathology Policies, Guidelines & Procedures
Here at Words in Motion Speech Pathology, our goal is to provide high quality speech therapy services for all clients. In order to do so, we have in place an appointment and cancellation policy. The policy enables us to better utilize available appointments for our clients and assists us as we strive to prepare for all of our appointments thoroughly. As a practice, we have also committed to limiting the number of clients our staff see in a day, which enables us to provide a high standard of service for all families.
Making an Appointment
Appointments are made via phone. You will also then receive email confirmation of initial appointments. You should receive this email almost immediately after making the appointment. If you do not receive the email within 24 hours, check your spam and make contact with us in the unlikely event that the email was not received. Once you have been booked in for therapy sessions, ongoing clients are given the same weekly/fortnightly appointment slot wherever possible for consistency and continuity. This appointment time is then blocked out for you on an ongoing basis (subject to therapy).
Attending an Appointment
We encourage you to arrive to your appointment in a timely fashion. This assists us as we strive for professionalism and timely service delivery to you at all times. If you arrive to your session later than 15 minutes into the session time without prior notice, we may be unable to see you because of how this impacts on other clients and room bookings.
Cancellation of an Appointment
If it is necessary to cancel your scheduled appointment, and it is not an emergency situation, we require that you call us at least 24 hours prior to your appointment time.
How to Cancel Your Appointment
To cancel appointments please call 9217 6423. Reception will take a message regarding the reason for the cancellation which will be recorded on our database. Out of office hours you are able to leave a voice mail message. We do NOT accept cancellations via email.
Reasons for Cancellation – Non-emergency
Non-emergency cancellations require 24 hours' notice. Non-emergencies include known illness, vacations, pre-planned medical appointments, family events, parties, sports events, lack of babysitter, weather or anything that is not designated as "emergency" (see below). The session must be cancelled no later than 24 hours before the appointment.
As a general rule of thumb we suggest a “no school/kinder, no session” approach, i.e. if your child is not well enough for school they are likely not well enough to attend a session either. This assists us in keeping our staff healthy so that they can provide a consistent and regular service to you. Given that we are a practice providing services for children, we ask for particular consideration with regards to sickness or conditions that are contagious (e.g. head lice, hand foot and mouth etc.). Please do not come, or bring your child, to the clinic with a fever, strep, unidentified rash, diarrhoea, vomiting or any other highly contagious illness. You and your child must be fever/diarrhoea/vomiting free for 24 hours prior to the session. If you or your child arrive ill, we may need to be terminate the session and charges still apply.
Wherever possible we will offer a reschedule appointment (refer to the information below). This avoids a cancellation being recorded on your file.
Late cancellations will be considered as a “no show”.
“No Show” Policy
A “no show” is someone who misses an appointment without cancelling it 24 hours or more in advance. No-shows inconvenience other individuals who require speech therapy services in a timely manner. They result in the therapist losing time for a session they have planned for. The therapist is also unable to schedule an appointment for another client without notice. A failure to present at the time of a scheduled appointment will be recorded in the client’s file as a “no show”. The first “no show” per term will not be charged to the family. As a courtesy you will be kindly advised of this by way of a $0 invoice. However, subsequent / repeated “no shows” will be billed to the family at the rate of 50% of the scheduled therapy fee for illness, or 100% for non-illness/non-urgent. You will receive an invoice for this via email. Multiple “no shows” may have to result in the temporary suspension of services. Our practice management system tracks attendance for us to ensure we can provide an equitable service for all families.
We of course understand that from time to time an urgent or unpredictable event such as a family situation may make it impossible to cancel your appointment one day prior and in these rare instances as much notice as you can provide is appreciated. In these circumstances we would consider the cancellation to be an exception to the “no show” policy. If, however, late cancellations become a pattern we will discuss this with you in order to ensure best access to therapy for all. We ask that where possible these sessions are cancelled by 8am on the day of the appointment. We understand that children get sick at late notice, and as such kindly accommodate in the following ways: offering a rescheduled appointment, waiving the first fee each term, and offering only a 50% invoice.
We offer make-up sessions because they are in the client's best interest for continuity and best therapy outcomes. Make-up slots are offered for inclement weather, illness and pre-arranged vacations/holidays. Make-up sessions are not able to be offered when our cancellation procedures are not followed. For example, if you are charged for a no-show, we are unable to reschedule that visit. It is expected that make- ups are attempted for all holidays, vacations and cancellations.
Overall attendance/dismissal policy
Given our current wait list for therapy services, we have also deemed it necessary to instigate an overall attendance policy. This means that we require families to attend 75-80% of their allocated sessions overall per term in order to continue to access a service with us. In other words, we have a cancellation limit of 20- 25% of sessions such that if you exceed this limit, you will risk losing your ongoing therapy appointment slot and go back on the waiting list for therapy services, so that the appointment can be offered to another client. In this instance, you are welcome to resume services at a later time when you are able to attend consistently. Again we wish to emphasise that this policy is not intended to disadvantage you, but rather to assist you to gain the most out of your therapy sessions, as we know from research that the frequency of therapy is crucial to outcomes. It is also to ensure access to therapy for as many families as possible.