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Wait time, PCP status tied to GI clinic nonattendance

2 months ago
How to increase patient visits and keep them

The factors associated with missed appointments at a gastroenterology (GI) clinic are wait time, ethnicity, marital status and primary care provider (PCP) status, a recent study has found.

A case-control study was performed using data from the electronic health record of patients scheduled for an appointment at the adult GI clinic at the Banner University Medical Center between March and October 2014. Those who missed their appointment during the study period served as cases.

Researchers randomly selected controls from patients who completed their appointment during the study period. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted.

There were 2,331 scheduled clinic appointments during the study period, of which 195 (8.4 percent) were missed appointments.

There was a significant association between longer waiting time from referral to schedule appointment and missed appointment (adjusted odds ratio [AOR], 1.014; 95 percent CI, 1.01 to 1.02; p<0.001). Patients without PCPs were more likely to miss their appointment than those with PCPs (AOR, 0.35; 0.18 to 0.66; p=0.001).

Among patient demographic characteristics, missed appointment was associated with marital status and ethnicity.

In a previous study that estimated the prevalence of nonattendance at scheduled appointments for outpatients seeking primary care, researchers found that nonattendance was significantly associated with age, number of issues in the personal health record, history of nonattendance, appointment scheduled later than 4pm, specific days of the week, and time between the request for and date of appointment. [Patient Prefer Adherence 2013;7:1163-1170]

Further studies are warranted to evaluate the effects of intervention strategies directed at reducing appointment wait time and increasing PCP-based care, according to researchers of the current study, adding that missed clinic appointments “reduce clinic efficiency, waste resources and increase costs.”

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