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Dermatol Online J. 2013 Apr 15;19(4):14.

Cancellations and patient access to physicians: ZocDoc and the evolution of e-medicine.

Author information

1
University of Texas at Houston, Houston, Texas.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Appointment attendance has always been a concern for physicians and the landscape is changing now that patients can book appointments online in many practices.

OBJECTIVE:

This manuscript examined attendance rates of appointments made on the internet for rural and urban dermatology clinics.

METHODS:

The study analyzed appointment records made over a 6-month period on ZocDoc.com for 3 dermatology clinics located outside Houston, Texas.

RESULTS:

Non-attendance rates for online appointments were much lower (6.9%) than non-attendance rates at dermatology clinics through traditional means. The average age of patients who missed their appointments was lower than the average age of those who made their appointments. In addition, the average age of those who cancelled their appointments was higher than those who made their appointments. Also, urban non-attendance rates were higher than rural rates.

LIMITATIONS:

This study has a small sample size because online appointment scheduling is not a common practice.

CONCLUSION:

The early returns of online appointment scheduling indicate that appointments made online are more likely to have lower non-attendance rates than appointments made through traditional means.

PMID:
24021373
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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