After COVID-19: Improving the patient's outpatient appointment experience


As the COVID-19 pandemic diminishes, it is expected that patients will seek more outpatient appointments resulting in adverse patient and clinic experiences if there is a corresponding increase in missed appointments. This study's purpose was to determine if there was an association between advanced access scheduling, also known as open access or same day scheduling, and missed appointment rates for patients scheduled with preferred primary care physicians vis-a-vis nonpreferred primary care physicians. Patients prescheduled with primary care providers and over the age of 18 years were included in the study, which totaled 4815 visits. Study results demonstrated a statistically significant mean proportion difference between the national no-show rate and the study's no-show rate as well as a significant association between physician type and visit status. The results suggested the potential for improving the patient experience with advanced access scheduling if patients are scheduled with their preferred primary care physician. This study may promote positive patient experiences by providing patients and clinicians with an understanding of the significance surrounding advanced access scheduling thus decreasing missed appointments.

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