A recent study (JC Bohnhoff et al. Pediatrics Unscheduled Referrals and Unattended Appointments After Pediatric Subspecialty Referral (article behind paywall).) provided data on “unattended appointments.” Thanks to John Pohl for this reference from his twitter feed. Link to Full Abstract:
- Of 20 466 referrals, 13 261 (65%) resulted in an appointment scheduled within 90 days and 10 514 (51%) resulted in a visit attended within 90 days.
- Compared with appointments scheduled within 7 days, appointments with intervals from referral to scheduled appointment exceeding 7 days were associated with decreasing likelihood of visit attendance (adjusted odds ratio 8–14 days 0.48; 95% confidence interval 0.37–0.61).
- Patient factors associated with decreased likelihood of both appointment scheduling and visit attendance included African American race, public insurance, and lower zip code median income.
My take: To reduce no show rates, shorter wait times and frequent reminders are important.