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J R Soc Med. 2002 September; 95(9): 476.
PMCID: PMC1280008

Unkept outpatient appointments

Dr Murdock and colleagues (June 2002 JRSM1) think that non-attendance should be addressed by overbooking. I suggest a method that will give an idea of who will or will not attend. Instead of an appointment, a letter is sent to the patient with a date and phone number. The patient is asked to phone on that date and arrange an appointment time. Those who do not phone will not be attending.


1. Murdock A, Rodgers C, Lindsay H, Tan TCK. Why do patients not keep their appointments? Prospective study in a gastroenterology outpatient clinic. J R Soc Med 2002;95: 284-6 [PMC free article] [PubMed]

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