Presentation (Project) Title

Planners, Parents, & Pediatrics: Appointment Barriers

Mentor Information

Donna Ettel-Gambino (Judy Genshaft Honors College)

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract

Patient satisfaction continues to be an ongoing conundrum within the healthcare system. Patients who are unable to attend appointments may negatively impact the patient’s health while simultaneously impacting healthcare providers’ ability to work efficiently and effectively. To maximize patient satisfaction, it is imperative to identify barriers which may lead to patients missing appointments. There are various arguments as to which aspect of patients’ lives is the biggest culprit that prevents them from attending appointments. The purpose of this quality project was to better understand what barriers were preventing families from scheduling and attending appointments at a not-for-profit children’s orthopedic outpatient clinic. This quality project was conducted by asking the parents of patients who attend the pediatric outpatient clinic a series of structured questions referring to specific barriers they may encounter when scheduling or attending appointments. 97 interviews were conducted in a waiting room within a pediatric outpatient setting in the Tampa Bay area. Descriptive statistics and cumulative frequencies were conducted to compare trends across groups. The top three barriers were the parent’s work schedule (40%), phone wait times (17%), and after-school activities (19%). After-school activities were the most prevalent barrier for African American families (40%), while work schedule and transportation issues were more prevalent in Hispanic families (58% and 33% respectively). These data indicate that parent work schedules interfere with attending scheduled appointments to the largest extent. These findings suggest that an expansion of hours of operation may better serve the needs of caretakers and patients while maximizing facility efficiencies.

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Planners, Parents, & Pediatrics: Appointment Barriers

Patient satisfaction continues to be an ongoing conundrum within the healthcare system. Patients who are unable to attend appointments may negatively impact the patient’s health while simultaneously impacting healthcare providers’ ability to work efficiently and effectively. To maximize patient satisfaction, it is imperative to identify barriers which may lead to patients missing appointments. There are various arguments as to which aspect of patients’ lives is the biggest culprit that prevents them from attending appointments. The purpose of this quality project was to better understand what barriers were preventing families from scheduling and attending appointments at a not-for-profit children’s orthopedic outpatient clinic. This quality project was conducted by asking the parents of patients who attend the pediatric outpatient clinic a series of structured questions referring to specific barriers they may encounter when scheduling or attending appointments. 97 interviews were conducted in a waiting room within a pediatric outpatient setting in the Tampa Bay area. Descriptive statistics and cumulative frequencies were conducted to compare trends across groups. The top three barriers were the parent’s work schedule (40%), phone wait times (17%), and after-school activities (19%). After-school activities were the most prevalent barrier for African American families (40%), while work schedule and transportation issues were more prevalent in Hispanic families (58% and 33% respectively). These data indicate that parent work schedules interfere with attending scheduled appointments to the largest extent. These findings suggest that an expansion of hours of operation may better serve the needs of caretakers and patients while maximizing facility efficiencies.