Appointment Wait Time, Primary Care Provider Status, and Patient Demographics are Associated With Nonattendance at Outpatient Gastroenterology Clinic

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Abstract

Goals:

We intended to identify the factors associated with missed appointments at a gastroenterology (GI) clinic in an academic setting.

Background:

Missed clinic appointments reduce clinic efficiency, waste resources, and increase costs. Limited data exist on subspecialty clinic attendance.

Study:

We performed a case-control study using data from the electronic health record of patients scheduled for an appointment at the adult GI clinic at the Banner University Medical Center between March and October of 2014. Patients who missed their appointment during the study period served as cases. Controls were randomly selected from patients who completed their appointment during the study period. Analysis included univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis.

Results:

Of 2331 scheduled clinic appointments, 195 (8.4%) were missed appointments. Longer waiting time from referral to scheduled appointment was significantly associated with missed appointment (AOR=1.014; 95% CI, 1.01-1.02; P<0.001). Patients with primary care providers (PCPs) were less likely to miss their appointment than those without PCPs (AOR=0.35; 95% CI, 0.18-0.66; P=0.001). Among patient demographic characteristics, ethnicity and marital status were associated with missed appointment.

Conclusions:

Wait time, ethnicity, marital status, and PCP status were associated with missed GI clinic appointments. Further investigations are needed to assess the effects of intervention strategies directed at reducing appointment wait time and increasing PCP-based care.

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