Targeting Zero Non-Attendance in Healthcare Clinics

Edited book (chapter)


Chan, Ka C. and Chan, David B.. 2012. "Targeting Zero Non-Attendance in Healthcare Clinics." Smith, Anthony C., Armfield, Nigel R. and Eikelboom, Robert H. (ed.) Global Telehealth 2012. IOS Press. pp. 52-57
Chapter Title

Targeting Zero Non-Attendance in Healthcare Clinics

Book Chapter CategoryEdited book (chapter)
ERA Publisher ID2298
Book TitleGlobal Telehealth 2012
AuthorsChan, Ka C. and Chan, David B.
EditorsSmith, Anthony C., Armfield, Nigel R. and Eikelboom, Robert H.
Volume182
Page Range52-57
SeriesStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
Chapter Number7
Number of Pages6
Year2012
PublisherIOS Press
ISBN9781614991519
9781614991526
ISSN0926-9630
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.3233/978-1-61499-152-6-52
Web Address (URL)https://ebooks.iospress.nl/doi/10.3233/978-1-61499-152-6-52
Abstract

Non-attendance represents a significant cost to many health systems, resulting in inefficiency, wasted resources, poorer service delivery and lengthened waiting queues. Past studies have considered extensively the reasons for non-attendance and have generally concluded that the use of reminder systems is effective. Despite this, there will always be a certain level of non-attendance arising from unforeseeable and unpreventable circumstances, such as illness or accidents, leading to unfilled appointments. This paper reviews current approaches to the non-attendance problem, and presents a high-level approach to fill last minute appointments arising out of unforeseeable non-attendance. However, no single approach will work for all clinics and implementation of these ideas must occur at a local level. These approaches include use of social networks, such as Twitter and Facebook, as a communication tool in order to notify prospective patients when last-minute appointments become available. In addition, teleconsultation using video-conferencing technologies would be suitable for certain last-minute appointments where travel time would otherwise be inhibiting. Developments of new and innovative technologies and the increasing power of social media, means that zero non-attendance is now an achievable target. We hope that this will lead to more evidence-based evaluations from the implementation of these strategies in various settings at a local level.

KeywordsNon-attendance; appointments; reminder systems; short message service; SMS; social networking; Facebook; Twitter; Skype; VoIP
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020420308. Health informatics and information systems
4609. Information systems
Byline AffiliationsLa Trobe University
University of New South Wales
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