Capital Health "Turning Patient Appointment No Shows into a Hospital-Wide Benefit"
Case StudyCapital Health Turning Patient Appointment No Shows into a Hospital-Wide BenefitC apital Health is Nova Scotia’s largest provider of healthservices. They operate hospitals, Keeping Waiting Rooms Full When a patient doesn’t show up for a scheduled appointment, a Capital Health’s Health Sciences Centrehealth centres and community- number of things happen. There They selected the 1Call Pro Showbased programs throughout is a loss of services for the nurses, Automated Appointment Re-Halifax Regional Municipality doctors, and technologists sched- minder Solution.and the western part of Hants uled to work with that patient,County. Capital Health is 12,000 a loss of services for equipment Reducing No Showsemployees, physicians, learn- needed for that patient, and the “Once we got up and running, weers, and volunteers providing patient has to be rescheduled, or actually dropped their no-showmedical and surgical care, mental in some cases, put on a wait list. rate from 9 percent to 1 percent.health care, community health For these reasons, the Capi- When we started doing calls forprograms, addiction prevention tal Health Voice Services call them, their average wait list wasand treatment, and environmen- centre was approached by the about 9 months. We dropped ittal health services. Nova Scotia Breast Screening Pro- down to about 6 months with As an academic district, Capi- gram, who realized the value of manual calls, and it’s 3 monthstal Health helps educate tomor- reminding patients about their now with Pro Show,” stated Betty.row’s health care providers andadministrators and engages in “… we actually dropped their no showsresearch into new treatments, from 9 percent to 1 percent … and wecures, processes and practices. dropped their wait list from 9 monthsCapital Health serves the 500,000 to 3 months using Pro Show.”residents of the district and pro-vides specialist services to the upcoming appointments. “They Natalie Klaus, Capital Healthrest of Nova Scotia and Atlantic had identified that making calls Manager of Communication Ser-Canada. made a big difference. So they ap- vices, Voice Services, commented, proached us to say, ‘We need help. “We currently process approxi-A Multitude of Appointments We need this done. We cannot mately 11,000 automated calls perEach day, thousands of Capital do it ourselves, and we thought month, which is maybe 1 percentHealth patients have scheduled people who worked on the tele- of the total number of appoint-appointments. Until recently, pa- phones would be the best people ment reminder calls for Capitaltients received reminders about to do it,’” said Betty. The call cen- Health.” This number includesupcoming appointments only tre agreed to make reminder calls reminder calls only for the Novaoccasionally. According to Betty for them as a manual process, to Scotia Breast Screening Program,Bouchie, the Senior Systems Ana- see how much of a difference it and for some of Diagnostic Imag-lyst for Capital Health Voice Ser- would make. ing.vices, “The staff was doing some Betty continued, “The secondcalls, but it was very sporadic. A Time-Saving Solution that the word got out of the im-When they had a break from The appointment reminder calls pact we had made, we had peo-people coming and going, they made such a substantial impact ple lined up down the block. Theywould take a list and try and call that Capital Health soon saw the want the same thing.”people.” need for an automated system. continued…
Customer Spotlight • Customer Spotlight • Customer SpotlightCapital HealthHospital-Wide Benefits number, people are very likely to via e-mail. When this happens,The primary benefits that Capi- pick up,” said Betty. the cause can be investigated andtal Health has noticed are the Each patient appointment is fixed before there is any impact tosignificant reduction in the no- set up to try as many as six times the reminder calls.show rates, and the reduced wait to leave a reminder message;list time. Another benefit of the twice each day, morning and eve- Adding More Servicesautomation is freeing up staff. ning for three days before the Capital Health started handlingAccording to Natalie, “It’s mainly appointment. They’ve found that appointment reminders for twothe no-show rate, and it’s also they typically reach the patient on of the most complex groups. Theyabout redeploying current re- the first call. continue working to offer thesesources to do other tasks. So if services to more departmentsyou had a person assigned to A Versatile Design and groups.make calls all day, now you can The Pro Show messages that pa- Currently, patients only re-have them complete other tasks.” tients hear are customized, de- ceive phone calls for appoint- An unexpected benefit of pending on the specific needs of ment reminders. This is primar-appointment reminder calls is the department or group. They ily due to patient privacy. Capitalrelated to the wait list. Because have included important remind- Health is discussing adding e-mailpatients get the reminders in ad- ers, such as a facility being “scent- reminders, but they will need per-vance, if they do need to cancel, free,” and also reminders that the mission from patients to do this.they can call to reschedule, and patient should arrive 15 minutes “We want to make sure we havethen a person from the wait list before their appointment time. our processes in place, and every-can be placed in that appoint- Each group also has a unique thing thought through before wement. Since the appointment callback number if patients need start rolling it out with e-mail astime can be scheduled with a wait to reach them. Pro Show does a well,” stated Natalie.list patient, it is not lost on a no- lookup to determine if the num-show who would then also need ber called is local. If it is, then Pro Updateto be added to the wait list. Show provides a local callback Since the initial call with 1Call in number. If the number called is May, reminder calls for the De-Perfecting the Process long distance, Pro Show gives a partment of Medicine were add-Betty and Natalie have learned long-distance callback number. ed. Betty said, “They love it. Weseveral key things about appoint- did a pilot of four groups, and itment reminders. They have found Labor-Saving Automation went great! They want to add thethat calling three days before the Another time-saving feature is the rest as soon as possible!”appointment is optimal. Four to automated data importing. Capi-five days is too long and the pa- tal Health is currently receiving The Final Wordtients forget about it, but any less different types of data from the Betty said, “Pro Show really is athan three days is too late, and various groups, which is convert- great product. It has made an im-they may not reach the patient. ed into the Pro Show database. pact just in its beginnings, and it They also found that using a The process is automated, and is will make a huge impact as we gounique Caller ID number for each scheduled every night. Data is im- forward.”department or group makes it ported five days in advance, so if a And a final bit of advice frommore likely that people will an- problem does occur receiving the Betty: “Find somebody that reallyswer the call. “Since we display a data, several people are alerted wants it, and they will help you set it up right.” (800)225-6035 • www.1call.com • email@example.com 4800 Curtin Drive • McFarland, WI 53558 (608)838-4194 • FAX (608)838-8367 March 2011