October 29, 2015
Top tips to reduce missed appointments
“Most clinicians know, when it comes to persuading patients to take their medicines, do a little more exercise or simply turn up for scheduled appointments, it often takes more than just a spoonful of sugar to sweeten the deal.” Martin et al. (2015).
DNAs are a familiar problem to many practices. However, the solution can be simpler than you might think according to recent findings published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine (Martin, Bassi & Dunbar-Rees, 2015).
Increasing engagement with patients is key, and this can be done with minimal effort and some clever nudge tactics:
- Simply asking the patient to repeat the time and date of the appointment over the phone led to a 3.5% drop in DNAs the following month, in the practices taking part.
- Asking patients to write the time and date of their follow-up appointment (instead of nurses filling it out themselves) led to an 18% DNA reduction compared to the previous 6 month average in one nurse-led clinic.
- Communicating on posters how many patients had attended over the past month (rather than had not attended) positively framed the message and promoted the desired behaviour instead of normalising DNAs. This, combined with the other two interventions, reduced DNAs by 32% overall.
Let us know if you decide to implement these tactics at email@example.com or tweet us at @onecaretweets