Health region working to reduce appointment no-shows

By Collin Stockwell
March 6, 2016 - 5:12pm

In its ongoing quest to reduce inefficiency and waste, the Prairie North Health Region is working to reduce appointment no-shows, which according to a recent report have been increasing.

According to the Vikki Smart, the vice-president of primary health services with the health region, a small portion of no-shows are people who simply forgot. In other cases patients can’t find a way to get to their appointment.

“We notice with some of our First Nations communities sometimes they just can’t get their transportation to get in and see a doctor,” Smart explained.

According to Smart the rates of appointment no-shows vary from facility to facility. Some sit in the 10 per cent range, which represents an average of two patients per day not showing up, while others hover around two per cent, which equals one patient not showing up every other day.

The health region has been working with different facilities on a case by case basis to find ways of reducing missed appointments.

“[We have] tracked if it’s a consistent thing for a particular individual, and so then we’ll work with that individual to say ‘how can we best serve you,’” Smart said. “If it a transportation issue we may book them in that day and try and get them in.”

Smart said if a facility consistently has a 10 per cent no-show rate they will book a couple of extra appointments per day and if everyone shows up they’ll simply just have a busier day. She added while no-shows have always been, and will always be, an issue in the health care industry they are at least making measurable steps in reducing them.


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