Appointment attendance at a remote rural dental training facility in Australia

Lalloo, Ratilal and McDonald, Jenny M. (2013) Appointment attendance at a remote rural dental training facility in Australia. BMC Oral Health, 13 7: 512-518. doi:10.1186/1472-6831-13-36


Author Lalloo, Ratilal
McDonald, Jenny M.
Title Appointment attendance at a remote rural dental training facility in Australia
Journal name BMC Oral Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1472-6831
Publication date 2013-08-02
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1186/1472-6831-13-36
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 13
Issue 7
Start page 512
End page 518
Total pages 8
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher BioMed Central
Language eng
Subject 3500 Dentistry
Abstract Background: Non-attended appointments have impacts on the operations of dental clinics. These impacts vary from lost productivity, loss of income and loss of clinical teaching hours.Methods: Appointment data were analysed to assess the percentage of completed, failed to attend (FTA) and cancelled appointments at an Australian remote rural student dental clinic training facility. The demographic and time characteristics of FTA and cancelled appointments were analysed using simple and multivariate multinomial regression analysis, to inform interventions that may be necessary.Results: Over the 2-year study period a total of 3,042 appointments were made. The percentage of FTA was 21.3% (N = 648) and cancelled appointments 13.7% (N = 418). The odds of an FTA were in excess of 4 times higher in patients aged 19-25 years (OR = 4.1; 95% CI = 2.3-7.3) and 26-35 years (OR = 4.4; 95% CI = 2.5-7.9) compared to patients 65 years and older. The odds of an FTA was 2.3 (95% CI = 1.8-3.1) times higher in public patients compared to private patients. The odds of a cancellation was 1.7 (95% CI = 1.1-2.6) times higher on a Friday compared to a Monday and 1.8 (95% CI = 1.1-2.9) times higher on the last appointment of the day compared to the first appointment. For cancelled appointments, 71.3% were cancelled on the day of the appointment and 16.6% on the day before.Conclusions: Non-attended appointments (FTA or cancelled) were common at this remote rural dental clinic training facility. Efforts to reduce these need to be implemented; including telephonic reminders, educating the community on the importance of attending their appointments, block booking school children and double booking or arranging alternative activities for the students at times when non-attendance is common.
Formatted abstract
Background: Non-attended appointments have impacts on the operations of dental clinics. These impacts vary from lost productivity, loss of income and loss of clinical teaching hours.

Methods: Appointment data were analysed to assess the percentage of completed, failed to attend (FTA) and cancelled appointments at an Australian remote rural student dental clinic training facility. The demographic and time characteristics of FTA and cancelled appointments were analysed using simple and multivariate multinomial regression analysis, to inform interventions that may be necessary.

Results: Over the 2-year study period a total of 3,042 appointments were made. The percentage of FTA was 21.3% (N = 648) and cancelled appointments 13.7% (N = 418). The odds of an FTA were in excess of 4 times higher in patients aged 19-25 years (OR = 4.1; 95% CI = 2.3-7.3) and 26-35 years (OR = 4.4; 95% CI = 2.5-7.9) compared to patients 65 years and older. The odds of an FTA was 2.3 (95% CI = 1.8-3.1) times higher in public patients compared to private patients. The odds of a cancellation was 1.7 (95% CI = 1.1-2.6) times higher on a Friday compared to a Monday and 1.8 (95% CI = 1.1-2.9) times higher on the last appointment of the day compared to the first appointment. For cancelled appointments, 71.3% were cancelled on the day of the appointment and 16.6% on the day before.

Conclusions: Non-attended appointments (FTA or cancelled) were common at this remote rural dental clinic training facility. Efforts to reduce these need to be implemented; including telephonic reminders, educating the community on the importance of attending their appointments, block booking school children and double booking or arranging alternative activities for the students at times when non-attendance is common.
Keyword Australia
Dental service
Education
Non-attended appointments
Remote
Rural
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: School of Medicine Publications
 
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