Examining rates of appointment compliance in different patient populations at a student-run free clinic
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INTRODUCTION: The Case Management (CM) and Diabetes Case Management (DCM) programs at MedZou assign complex patients to medical students who call with appointment reminders and attend clinic appointments with them. Although these programs are designed to improve continuity of care, rates of appointment compliance have not previously been evaluated. OBJECTIVE: The primary objective of this study was to compare rates of appointment compliance between general clinic (GC), CM, and DCM patients at MedZou. METHODS: This was a retrospective chart review in which appointment compliance was examined for every appointment record from January 2014 to December 2016 in the SharePoint scheduling system and physical charts. The primary outcome measured was percent appointment compliance, with compliance defined as keeping, rescheduling, or canceling an appointment as long as notice was given. RESULTS: 3,801 appointment records were included. Rates of appointment compliance were lowest for GC, highest for CM, and intermediate for DCM appointments (62.6% vs. 84.3% vs. 73.8%, respectively, p<.0001). Rates of appointment reminders were intermediate for GC, highest for CM, and lowest for DCM appointments (83.2% vs. 87.1% vs. 71.0%, respectively, p<.0001). CONCLUSION: Although appointment compliance was higher for the CM and DCM populations compared to the GC population, DCM appointments received the fewest reminders of these groups. Thus, steps should be implemented to improve the percentage of reminders for DCM appointments.
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