PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThere are a variety of reasons why patients will not show up to their doctors' appointments. Some reasons are remedial (e.g., not having transportation can lead to other transport options), whereas others are not (e.g., not wanting to hear bad news). But regardless of the specific reason, changing the behavior so that it complies with the doctor's orders is difficult to know in advance. This thesis investigates this complex issue in three ways: (1) using electronic medical record data, (2) conducting a survey of patients, and (3) assessing the patient workflow through the clinic based on a cycle-time analysis. The EMR data revealed 30% of patients who did not show up to their appointments, most of whom were new patients and pediatric patients. To better understand the reasons why patients did not show up for their appointments, patient surveys were then conducted. The results showed that transportation (42%) and getting off of work (21%) were the primary reasons why patients could not show up to their appointment. The surveys indicated that 8% of all members waited for over 45 minutes before seeing a medical professional. To understand why patients had to wait over 45 minutes for their appointment, patients were observed during their office visits and a cycle-time analysis was conducted to assess the workflow of the patient through the medical clinic. The results indicated that the work flow was inefficient due to poor scheduling practices and communication breakdowns. A discussion of the findings and implications for healthcare practice are provided.
Degree ProgramHonors College