A Clinic Coordinator Improves Clinic Efficiency and Decreases Missed Appointments in a Multidisciplinary Setting
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Introduction: Missed appointments represent a significant problem in the medical community. A clinic coordinator was hired to provide a dedicated source for communication, scheduling, and care of patients between multiple providers in the same clinic. We investigated whether the coordinator improved patient care by reducing the missed appointment rate and we evaluated the financial implications of this position. Objective: The primary objective of analyzing the effects of hiring a clinic coordinator was to determine the impact on the rate of missed appointments by using medical informatics. The financial implications and cost-benefits analysis of incorporating this position into a multidisciplinary setting was evaluated. Methods: Rates of missed appointments before and after utilization of a clinic coordinator were analyzed using a commercially available business software system (SAP® Business Objects). The total number of clinic visits was collected for each month to determine the access available for patients. The average cost billed per each clinic visit was calculated based on billing in this clinic and correlated to the number of missed appointments saved by implementation of this coordinator. Comparisons before and after implementation of the clinic coordinator were performed using Mann-Whitney U tests to compare missed appointments per month. Results: The mean number of missed appointments per clinic by month before employing the clinic coordinator (mean 3.46, standard deviation ± 2.750) was higher than compared to the two years following implementation (1.21, ± 1.74), which was statistically significant at p < 0.0005. When evaluating the lost billing amounts prior to hiring the clinic coordinator, 91,520 dollars was lost during this time period. This is compared to the total amount of 30,160 dollars lost during the second half of the time period evaluated (p = 0.0009). Conclusion: Hiring a clinic coordinator decreased the rate of missed appointments and proved to be a cost-efficient manner to accomplish effective patient care and efficient use of clinical time in a multidisciplinary setting. This intervention allowed more patients to be seen without increasing the number of available clinic slots or requiring increased amounts of provider time.
Table of Contents
Introduction -- Review of the literature -- Methodology -- Results -- Discussion -- Conclusion