Why children do not attend their appointments: is there a need for an interface between general practitioners and hospitals allowing for the exchange of patients' contact details?


Hirani, N; Karafillakis, EN; Majeed, A; (2016) Why children do not attend their appointments: is there a need for an interface between general practitioners and hospitals allowing for the exchange of patients' contact details? JRSM open, 7 (8). p. 2054270416648046. ISSN 2054-2704 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/2054270416648046

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Abstract

A service evaluation project on the reasons why children do not attend their outpatient appointments. Analysis of paediatric clinic lists over two consecutive days. Parents of the non-attenders were identified and their reasons for not attending the appointment were elicited using a survey. The appointments were scheduled to take place in the Paediatric department at St. Mary's Hospital, London. Of the 201 appointments scheduled, 49 patients did not attend their paediatric appointment. Telephone contact was successful with 35 parents. Parents were asked to verify if their contact details were correct, if they were aware of the appointment and if they had received a reminder. The reasons for non-attendance were explored. Of the 49 non-attenders, correct contact details were held on file for 24 of the patients (49.0%). Of the 35 parents contacted, 18 were aware (51.4%) of their child's appointment. This project revealed that the principal reason for non-attendance is unawareness of the appointment due to incorrect contact details held by the hospital. Potential strategies for reducing non-attendance at this paediatric outpatient clinic include developing a confirmation or reminder system and improved communication with parents. The creation of a new interface between hospitals and GPs would allow hospitals to access patient contact details held by GPs. It would also ensure that hospitals hold up-to-date patient contact details and that appointment details are effectively communicated to parents. The interface would automatically feed through any updated patient details, keeping hospital records current.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Epidemiology and Population Health > Dept of Infectious Disease Epidemiology
PubMed ID: 27540489
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/2933157

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