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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2006 Sep;160(9):889-93.

Effect of open access scheduling on missed appointments, immunizations, and continuity of care for infant well-child care visits.

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  • 1Denver Health, Departments of Pediatrics and Family Medicine, University of Colorado School of Medicine, and The Research Institute, The Children's Hospital, Denver, USA. mary.o'



To examine the effect of open access scheduling (OA) on infant well-child care (WCC).


Cluster randomization of 2 methods of OA compared with a baseline group (prior to OA).


Community health center pediatric clinic, August 1, 2003, to January 31, 2004.


Ten providers (pediatricians and physician assistants) and 878 infants; 2-, 4-, and 6-month WCC visits were scheduled.


Two scheduling methods were compared under the OA model: the OA future visit group scheduled their infant's next WCC visit when leaving the visit, and the OA same day group called for a same-day appointment.


Missed appointment rates, on-time immunization rates, and continuity of care.


Missed appointment rates decreased from 21% in the baseline group to 14% and 9% in the OA future visit and OA same day groups, respectively (P<.02). For 630 infants older than 5 months at study end, on-time immunization rates were 59% in the baseline group and 74% in both OA groups (P<.006). Of 412 infants with 2 or more WCC visits, 75% in the OA future visit group and 60% in the OA same day group saw the same provider for all visits (P = .001). This difference was due to differences among providers, not to the different scheduling methods.


Open access scheduling decreases missed appointments for infant WCC visits and appears to increase on-time immunizations.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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