|Home | About | Journals | Submit | Contact Us | Français|
The object of the study was to establish the non-attendance rates in an ophthalmic outpatient department and any non-attendance patterns that may be useful in managing future outpatient resources. A detailed retrospective survey of monthly non-attendance rates was carried out in the outpatient department of a dedicated eye hospital over a 1 year period looking at differences in non-attendance between morning and afternoon clinics and new and review patients. A total of 43,004 scheduled outpatient appointments predominantly from the suburban population of the Merseyside region were made at St Paul's Eye Hospital from the 1 February 1990 to 31 January 1991. Five thousand four hundred and twenty-four appointments were missed giving an overall non-attendance rate of 12.6%. Non-attendance rates for morning and afternoon appointments were 12.0% and 13.0%, respectively: and for new and review patients, 11.9% and 12.8%, respectively. Logistic regression analysis showed that patients with afternoon appointments were on average 1.10 times more likely to non-attend than morning patients (P = 0.002), and that review patients were 1.09 times more likely to non-attend than new patients (P = 0.04). In order to maximize outpatient department efficiency, a reduction in non-attendance is essential. Establishing patterns for non-attendance provides us with a framework around which we can plan measures to compensate for outpatient non-attendance.