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J Healthc Qual. 2007 Nov-Dec;29(6):45-8.

The use of open-access scheduling for the elderly.

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Geriatrics Clinic, Miami VA Medical Center, FL, USA.


Open-access scheduling is a method of reducing both waits in access to care and the number of appointments missed by outpatients. The Department of Veterans Affairs has pioneered a system that includes a feature known as advanced clinic access as a quality improvement project to improve access to care. Patients are not scheduled for an appointment more than 30 days in advance but instead are reminded 30 days before anticipated appointments to call to be scheduled. Same-day appointments are also available. Although this system may pose theoretical disadvantages for the elderly, in Miami no significant reduction occurred in numbers of patients seen, and the number of missed appointments decreased significantly.

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