The number of people who did not bother to turn up for hospital appointments has dropped.
Missed appointment slots, often referred to as ‘Did Not Attends’ or ‘DNAs’ push up waiting time for other patients as missed slots have to be rescheduled and consultants are left twiddling their thumbs waiting for patients who never arrive.
Overall outpatient Did Not Attends (DNAs) reduced from 11.6 per cent to 9 per cent, representing about 8,000 missed appointments during 12 months.
A reduction in the rate of DNA occurrences has been sustained from January 2013 to January 2014, which along with other waiting time management initiatives, has seen an overall increase of 4,100 clinic attendances, up 5.4 per cent.
The DNA average percentage for new appointments (i.e. non follow-up appointments) with a consultant has reduced to 7.9 per cent in the same period. These percentage rates compare favourably with the UK, where the DNA rate for new appointments is 14.5 per cent and the average overall rate is 14.3 per cent.
The creation in January 2014 of an Outpatient Appointments Bureau at Noble’s Hospital as a one-stop shop for the public to make, reschedule and cancel appointments, as well as providing an outpatient clinic check-in service for those arriving at Noble’s Hospital, was part of the work to identify ways to reduce the number of patients failing to attend their appointment.
This in turn has led to more effective appointment management, allowing cancelled slots to be quickly reallocated by a single team which has an overview of all appointments at the hospital.
The implementation of the ‘opt-in to appointments’ initiative across Noble’s Hospital outpatient clinics, requires patients to opt-in for their appointment following referral, so that they have to confirm that they can and will attend, rather than only having to advise if they are unable to attend.
What do you think?
Should people who don’t turn up to appointments be fined?