Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Aust N Z J Med. 2000 Oct;30(5):585-92.

A telephone call reminder to improve outpatient attendance in patients referred from the emergency department: a randomised controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Emergency Medicine, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Vic. Peter.Ritchie@mh.org.au

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Poor compliance with attendance at outpatient clinic appointments in patients referred from emergency departments (EDs) is a major problem in public hospitals.

AIMS:

To determine whether the intervention of a telephone call within three days of ED attendance would improve: 1. the proportion of patients making recommended outpatient appointments; and 2. the proportion of patients attending scheduled appointments. To characterise reasons for non-attendance at appointments made by patients referred from the ED.

METHODS:

A randomised controlled trial was undertaken of 400 patients recommended to make outpatient appointments during attendance at The Royal Melbourne Hospital ED in July-August 1999.

INTERVENTION:

a telephone call one to three days after attendance to remind the patient about the appointment (and its importance for medical follow-up) if one had been made and to offer to make an appointment if one had not been made.

OUTCOME MEASURES:

1. making the recommended appointment; 2. attendance at the scheduled appointment; and 3. reasons for non-attendance at scheduled appointments.

RESULTS:

The telephone intervention improved attendance at scheduled appointments from 54.4% to 70.7% (p=0.002). The proportion of patients making appointments was not significantly affected. The commonest reasons given for non-attendance were: attended general practitioner (13%), attended private specialist (6.6%), inpatient in hospital at time of appointment (6.6%), too busy or inconvenient (5.3%), claimed to have attended (5.3%) and did not differ by intervention.

CONCLUSIONS:

A significant improvement in the proportion of patients attending outpatients appointments can be made by a simple reminder telephone call one to three days after attendance at the ED.

PMID:
11108069
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk