No-Shows in Outpatient Medical Institutions in Germany – A Pilot Study about Explanations of Patients Why they Missed their Appointment
Science Journal of Public Health
Volume 2, Issue 3, May 2014, Pages: 238-242
Received: May 10, 2014; Accepted: May 20, 2014; Published: May 30, 2014
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Authors
Wolfgang Frank, Practice for Neurology and Psychiatry, Luebecker Str. 20, D-23611 Bad Schwartau, Germany
Erich Kasten, Medical School Hamburg, University of Applied Science, Am Kaiserkai 1, D-20457 Hamburg, Germany
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Abstract
Patients, who miss an appointment in medical institutions (so called “no-shows”) cause a significant damage to the health care system. We asked 181 patients (65% female, 35% male; average age 43.7 y.) how often they missed appointments in the past 12 months. The questionnaire’s reliability was r = 0.76. We recorded 2,778 events. 3.13% of the appointment were missed and 0.43% came much too late. Most common reasons were forgetfulness and confusion of dates. Severity of pain and health-limitations correlated positive with punctuality. Among the no-shows were significantly more unemployed subjects than people with an occupation. There was no significant difference between pensioners and unemployed participants. Only 25% found memory aids such as letters, phone calls or short text messages helpful before the appointment. 60% of patients agreed to pay a fee of max. 1.- € for such a service. As charge for doctor’s loss of income due to the missed appointment a payment between 10.- € and 20.- € was judged to be appropriate. Two groups of "persons of risk" have been identified: 1. non-working people and 2. patients with poor memory. Both groups valued reminders for the appointment positively.
Keywords
No-Shows, Appointments, Missed Appointments, Reminders
To cite this article
Wolfgang Frank, Erich Kasten, No-Shows in Outpatient Medical Institutions in Germany – A Pilot Study about Explanations of Patients Why they Missed their Appointment, Science Journal of Public Health. Vol. 2, No. 3, 2014, pp. 238-242. doi: 10.11648/j.sjph.20140203.27
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