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Why do outpatients fail to keep their clinic appointments? Results from a survey and recommended remedial actions.

International journal of clinical practice. 
[Record Source: PubMed]
We undertook a survey of 2555 outpatients (both new and review) to look at the reasons for high non-attendance (DNA) rates. Completed questionnaires (n = 983, 38.5% response) indicated the main reasons: forgetting or not receiving the appointment because of illness, and less often because of feeling better; transport problems; and short notice. Our remedial actions included improving the clerical system, announcing DNA rates on a regular basis in GP surgeries and in the outpatient department, introducing a tear-off slip with the appointment letter for patients to return, installing a free answerphone, active GP/consultant involvement in DNA-related problems and local publicity campaigns. A new scheme in our trust--outpatient telephone follow-up--may also help in reducing DNA rates.
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