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August 1982

Enlisting Physicians to Help Lower Patients' No-Show Rate-Reply

Arch Intern Med. 1982;142(8):1582-1583. doi:10.1001/archinte.1982.00340210180039

Much like Hashimoto and Brusuelas, we found wide variations of rates among different house officers but did not find substantially different no-show rates among house officers of different training levels. The novel intervention planned by Hashimoto and Brusuelas may be an effective way to reduce no-show rates, and we eagerly await their results.

While we are intervening to improve physician behavior, we should not minimize the impact of reminders on patient behavior. As has been shown previously in pediatric settings1,2 and in a community health center,3 we recently demonstrated that telephone and mail reminders reduced the no-show rate in our hospital-based adult ambulatory setting by 40%. Our analysis also suggests that such reminders will be cost-effective in a wide variety of ambulatory settings.4 Thus, patient reminders seem to be an important technique for improving appointment-keeping rates, but we hope that Hashimoto and Brusuelas can demonstrate that interventions