Outpatients Department disappointed by high number of 'no shows'

18 January 2013
The Whanganui District Heath Board (WDHB) is urging anyone who has an appointment with Wanganui Hospital’s Outpatients Department to please attend, and if they can’t do so, to call the department to book an alternative time.
WDHB chief medical officer John Rivers says disappointingly, 305 of the 3259 people with appointments for December 2012 failed to attend making it the highest number of ‘no-shows’ over the past 13 months.
 “It’s particularly disappointing to see children missing appointments because their parents or caregivers have failed to bring them in,” Dr Rivers says. “Missed appointments not only delay the person’s access to a specialist doctor but they also waste precious resources if that appointment is unable to be given to another patient. 
“Every unused appointment time means Wanganui Hospital is wasting money in what is a tight fiscal environment and, importantly, other patients will have to wait longer to see the specialist doctor.”
Dr Rivers says he’s sure most people would phone in and inform staff if they realised that not showing up for their appointment meant other people were missing out on the opportunity to see a specialist doctor sooner.
“Our staff do understand that unforeseen circumstances can arise and sometimes, with little warning. A quick phone call to the scheduling team allows us to reallocate appointment times.”
Any patient who receives a time or date that doesn’t suit them is welcome to call the hospital to arrange an alternative time. The name of the contact person and number to call is clearly provided on the appointment sheet.
Year Month Appts Att DNAs Rate (%)
2012 December 3259 2954 305 9.4
2012 November 4118 3787 331 8.0
2012 October 4318 3950 368 8.5
2012 September 3863 3547 316 8.2
2012 August 4332 3996 336 7.8
2012 July 4054 3725 329 8.1
2012 June 3918 3601 297 8.1
2012 May 4907 4536 371 7.6
2012 April 3343 3055 288 8.6
2012 March 4151 3844 307 7.4
2012 February 3584 3307 277 7.7
2012 January 3109 2856 253 8.1
2011 December 3353 3128 225 6.7
See table above for Outpatient Department ‘Do Not Attends’ for the period between December 2011 and December 2012.