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Anales del Sistema Sanitario de Navarra

versión impresa ISSN 1137-6627

Resumen

JABALERA MESA, M.L.; MORALES ASENCIO, J.M.  y  RIVAS RUIZ, F.. Determinants and economic cost of patient absenteeism in outpatient departments of the Costa del Sol Health Agency. Anales Sis San Navarra [online]. 2015, vol.38, n.2, pp.235-245. ISSN 1137-6627.  http://dx.doi.org/10.4321/S1137-66272015000200007.

Background: To identify factors related to the people, the process and the context that determine patient compliance with their appointments in the ambulatory outpatient services in the Costa del Sol Health Care Agency; and to obtain the profile of patients who fail to keep their appointments, the reasons for this failure and an estimation of its economic cost. Methods: Observational multicenter case-control study, through a survey carried out on patients with an appointment in the ambulatory outpatient services during 2013 and 2014, and analysis of the cost per appointment. Results: In total, 882 patients participated in the study (294 cases and 588 controls). The main reasons for missing an appointment were forgetting about it (29, 6%; n=87), and failure in communication (16%; n=47). A shorter time period before the appointment and older age were significantly associated with fewer absences, as well as the fact of having attended more consultations in the past year. The economic cost was more than 3 million euros for a non-attendance rate of 13.8%. Conclusions: Young patients who usually do not visit outpatient clinics are at greatest risk of absence from scheduled appointments in our health area. The main reasons for absenteeism are preventable and interventions such as improved communication procedures or appointment reminder systems could be beneficial.

Palabras clave : Appointment and schedules; Referral and consultation; Outpatients; Ambulatory care; Patient compliance.

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