Education research: a new system for reducing patient nonattendance in residents' clinic

Raymond S Price, Laura J Balcer, Steven L Galetta
Neurology 2010 March 9, 74 (10): e34-6

BACKGROUND: Patient nonattendance in neurology and other subspecialty clinics is closely linked to longer waiting times for appointments. We developed a new scheduling system for residents' clinic that reduced average waiting times from >4 months to < or =3 weeks. The purpose of this study was to compare nonattendance for clinics scheduled using the new model (termed "rapid access") vs those scheduled using the traditional system.

METHODS: In the rapid access system, nonestablished (new) patients are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis for appointments that must occur within 2 weeks of their telephone request. Nonattendance for new patient appointments (cancellations plus no-shows) was compared for patients scheduled under the traditional vs the rapid access scheduling systems. Nonattendance was compared for periods of 6, 12, and 18 months following change in scheduling system using the chi2 test and logistic regression.

RESULTS: Compared to the traditional scheduling system, the rapid access system was associated with a 50% reduction in nonattendance over 18 months (64% [812/1,261 scheduled visits] vs 31% [326/1,059 scheduled visits], p < 0.0001). In logistic regression models, appointment waiting time was a major factor in the relation between rapid access scheduling and nonattendance. Demographics, diagnoses, and likelihood of scheduling follow-up visits were similar between the 2 systems.

CONCLUSIONS: A new scheduling system that minimizes waiting times for new patient appointments has been effective in substantially reducing nonattendance in our neurology residents' clinic. This rapid access system should be considered for implementation and will likely enhance the outpatient educational experience for trainees in neurology.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"