Improving the Clinic No-Show Rate

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Introduction/Purpose: Appointment cancellations or "no-shows" have been shown to interfere with patient care, cause health issues, and increase hospitalization rates. A rise in the number of no-show appointments can cause issues for both patients and providers. This quality improvement project's goal was to implement an evidence-based protocol that assisted a pain management clinic in reducing the number of no-show appointments. To help reduce clinic no show rates, the project used evidence-based strategies. Methods: A pre-and post-implementation design was used in this quality improvement project to determine the daily no-show rate over a 6-week period. Staff utilized evidence-based approaches to promote patient compliance, which resulted in a lower no-show rate. Check-out and missed appointment scheduling policies and procedures were verbally reminded and updated for the MA staff while providers continued to have weekly educational calls. Results: All pre-and post-intervention follow-up appointments over a 6-week period were used for comparison. Prior to the project's implementation phase, the clinic had more than 10% of appointments missed over a six-week period. The no-show rate during the six-week pre intervention period was 12%, and the no-show rate during the six-week post-intervention period was 8%. Discussion/Conclusion: Missed appointments can have a negative impact on both the patient and the clinic. Staff monitoring of missed appointments will be critical in the clinic setting to ensure that patients are more engaged in their treatment programs and keeping their appointments. This quality improvement project found that the use of an evidence-based approach assisted in the reduction of the daily missed appointment ratio.

appointment cancellations, no-shows, patient care