Dr Foster Health Reveals Outpatient Appointment No-Shows Cost Hospitals £600M a Year

September 14, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Health News
Dr Foster Health, the hospital comparison and consultant search website, has published an online report which reveals outpatient appointment no-shows are costing hospitals around £600m a year.

Men in their early 20s are the worst offenders for appointment no-shows, while patients of both sexes aged 70 to 74 years are the most conscientious about keeping a hospital appointment.

In 2007/8, 6.5 million appointments were missed in the UK, with hospitals losing around £100 per patient in revenue.

Current opinion is that "did not attend" (DNA) rates can be reduced by reviewing appointment and other procedures from the point of view of outpatients.

High DNA rates may be an indicator of inappropriate referrals and reflect the quality of the interface between Primary Care (GP surgeries, clinics, Primary Care Trusts) and Secondary Care (hospitals and NHS Trusts).

The online feature goes on to evaluate the success of the NHS Choose and Book initiative as part of the Free Choice government policy introduced back in April 2008. Choose and Book allows GPs to offer patients a choice of times and places for outpatient and other hospital treatments.

An analysis of the effectiveness of prevention measures such as alert systems (SMS, email, etc) to remind patients of their appointment is also included in the online report.

The report concludes by revealing a solution to the problem of missed outpatient appointments in the form of a Risk Model developed by Dr Foster. The Model can help Hospital Trusts accurately predict which patients will be more likely to default on their appointments and target these specific groups for intervention measures.

The online feature was published on September 10 2009 and can be accessed on the Dr Foster Health homepage: www.drfosterhealth.co.uk/features/outpatient-appointment-no-shows.aspx