A Primary Care Initiative To Reduce Missed Appointments Among Adult Patients

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Pearley, Rashelle
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Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS::Caring sciences::Nursing , Appointments and Schedules , Ambulatory Care , Electronic Mail
Background: The benefits of attending a healthcare appointment include reducing the risk of disease and controlling the overall health for patients and the population. A missed patient appointment in the primary care setting can cause a delay in healthcare services and can affect the quality of care. Objective: To determine if education on the importance of attending a primary care appointment, increased awareness of appointment rescheduling, and electronic reminders will reduce the amount of missed patient appointments. Methods: This project reviewed the amount of missed patient appointments before and after the implementation of a system change over a five-month period. The project focused on implementing appointment reminders delivered through various communication channels, including phone calls, texts, email, and an educational brochure highlighting what to expect at future appointments and instructions on how to reschedule an appointment. A survey was administered to patients at the post clinic visit to determine how likely they were to attend their next appointment after receiving the intervention. Results: This project demonstrated a significant reduction in the amount of missed patient appointments, after incorporating multiple methods of appointment reminders and an educational brochure highlighting the importance of attending appointments. The surveys showed that most patients were likely to attend their next appointment following the interventions. Conclusion: A missed appointment can interfere with adequate medical care, misspend administrative and medical resources, and are associated with adverse patient health outcomes (Davis, 2021). While efforts to address the issue of missed appointments are extensive, solutions have been identified with only limited success (Biggs et.al, 2022). This project revealed a significant difference in the amount of missed patient appointments with the intervention strategies used.