Does non-automated phone call notification improve no-show rates in neurology resident clinic?

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Conference Proceeding

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Objective: To determine if calling patients 24-96 hours prior to their regularly scheduled appointment will reduce no-show rates. Background: Long lead times for new appointments is a universal problem for the outpatient clinics. Anecdotally, there are frequent 'no-shows' to the Neurology Resident Clinic at Henry Ford Hospital. This prevents patients who are on an extended wait list from being seen in an expedited manner. Automated reminders may not be targeting enough of the patient population, thus a nonautomated phone call may reduce no-show rates. Design/Methods: Patients 18 years and older, and those that have an appointment scheduled in the Neurology Resident Clinic between October to December 2016 were included. Patients were called 24-96 hours prior to their scheduled appointment and given a reminder of their appointment. Clinic show rates were tracked, and percentage of potential clinic slots that were filled was calculated to measure the outcome of the intervention. Results: Information on appointment status was available for 998 patients prior to the reminder call intervention and 406 patients after the intervention. There was a trend toward a lower no show rate when comparing the two groups (19% vs 23%, p0.075). However, there was a significant improvement in the rate of patients showing up for their appointments (70% vs 54%, p<0.001) which appears to be related to a reduction in the number of cancelled/rescheduled appointments (11% vs 23%, p<0.001). Conclusions: Our intervention using non-automated reminder calls did not improve the noshow rate; However, it did increase the show rate by effect of decreased cancelled and rescheduled appointments. It may be an effective measure to institute a non-automated reminder policy to increase show rate, and eventually decrease lead time for new patients.





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