Non-attendance at an ultrasound imaging center : a case study in a Hong Kong local hospital

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Non-attendance at an ultrasound imaging center : a case study in a Hong Kong local hospital


Author: Lai, Kwok-hung Albert
Title: Non-attendance at an ultrasound imaging center : a case study in a Hong Kong local hospital
Degree: M.Sc.
Year: 2000
Subject: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Hong Kong)
Hospitals -- Outpatient services -- China -- Hong Kong -- Case studies
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Multi-disciplinary Studies
Dept. of Management
Pages: viii, 148 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm
Language: English
Abstract: Non-attendance is a great problem to the management of outpatient clinics. However, appointment keeping behavior is difficult to predict and the generalization of results from the published studies may be invalid to local settings. A local study is hence essential prior to the implementation of any intervention. This report involves a retrospective study revealing non-attendance rates at the ultrasound imaging center of Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and a prospective questionnaire survey determining the predictive factors for non-attendance and obtaining the reasons. The average non-attendance rates in 1999 are 12.4 and 12.2 percent respectively for all outpatients and adult outpatients. Three significant predictive variables are identified from a sample of 183 patients using bivariate analyses: description of examination by the referring physician, patient's self-perceived severity of illness, and appointment booking at the ward. The age, sex, or educational level of patient, travel time, need of sick/vacation leave or accompanying person, appointment waiting time or session, previous experience of ultrasound examination, the relation between expected and actual appointment time or between the appointment and follow-up visit have no impact on the accuracy of the prediction in our study. Multivariate logistic regression includes the same three predictors in the regression model but only up to 35.3 percent of the variance of non-attendance can be explained. From the 54 non-attenders, forgetfulness is the main reason (46.6 percent) for non-attendance and all preventable causes account for 55.2 percent of non-attendance. Specific recommendations or interventions are suggested based on these local results.

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