Purpose: This study examined characteristics, reasons, knowledge and attitudes toward the register system for ambulatory patients who fail to show up for appointments for treatment and moreover proposed some methods of lowering the possibility of missed appointments. Methods: This study used convenient sampling to select 34,428 ambulatory patients who failed to show up for their scheduled appointments at a medical center n Taiwan. To understand the knowledge and attitudes toward the register system of these patients, 3,959 patients who failed to show up for their scheduled appointments were selected from ten departments with the largest numbers of registered patients. A random selection then was conducted to 60 patients from among these 3,959 patients. A telephone interview with the fires 30 selected patients also was performed to collect data. The final sample contained 300 patients. Results: This study OR found that five factors were significantly related to appointment failure, namely patient age, seniority of the physician, appointment method (phone or internet), appointment time, whether a scheduled physician was replaced, and accumulated number of failed appointments. The most common reasons for missing appointments were forgetting appointment time (34.3%), being too busy to show up (17.3), and being hospitalized (8.7) Notably, 58% of patients who missed appointments did not know that appointments could be cancelled in advance Moreover, 93.3% of patients who missed appointments believed that a reminder about their appointment one day in advance could prevent patients from missing appointments. Conclusions: This study suggests that hospitals should include rules and phone numbers relevant to appointment cancellation on referral sheets to remind patients to show up on time or to educate patients about how to cancel an appointment.
|Translated title of the contribution
|Exploring Characteristics of Ambulatory Patients Who Fail to Show for Appointments and Related Problems in a Medical Center
|Number of pages
|Published - Oct 2003