University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, Kansas City, MO, USA
Department of Pediatrics, Children’s Mercy – Kansas City, Kansas City, MO, USA
Corresponding author: Matthew J. McLaughlin, MD, MSB, Children’s Mercy Hospital, University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine, Division of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine, Division of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutic Innovation, 2401 Gillham Road, Kansas City, MO 64108, USA. Tel.: +1 8162341570; Fax: +1 8169836845; E-mail: [email protected].
Abstract: PURPOSE:The objective of this study was to analyze the effects on patient access by decreasing missed appointments after hiring a clinic coordinator using medical informatics. METHODS:A single-center retrospective analysis of the rates of missed appointments before and after hiring a clinic coordinator in a multidisciplinary spinal differences clinic were analyzed using a commercially available business software system (SAP® Business Objects). The total number of clinic visits was collected for each month to determine the access available for patients. RESULTS:The median number of missed appointments per clinic by month before employing the clinic coordinator was higher than in the two years following implementation (p < 0.0005). No differences were seen in the number of available appointment slots per month indicating no new clinics were needed to improve patient access (p = 0.551). Projected billing amounts prior to hiring the clinic coordinator indicated that $91,520 was lost in the 2 years prior to hiring this coordinator compared to $30,160 lost during the 2 years following the creation of this position (p = 0.0009). CONCLUSION:Hiring a clinic coordinator decreased the rate of missed appointments and was a cost-efficient intervention to improve patient access and provide effective patient care in a multidisciplinary setting.