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A study to evaluate resource draining "no shows"

1 Department of Radiation Therapy and Oncology, GMC, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India
2 Department of Internal Medicine, GMC, Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dipti Anil Chand,
A 1, Jeevan Jyoti Colony, Clarke Town, Nagpur 440 004, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Introduction: Waiting lists are problems that plague all government radiation therapy centers across the country, leading to disease progression, and reduced treatment efficacy. No shows for appointments create artificial access issues, reduce revenues, waste staff time, and negatively affect patient care. Methodology: A Retrospective analysis of 180 patients, who were given an appointment and were to be started for radiation therapy at the Department of Radiation Therapy and Oncology, at our institute from May 1, 2013 to July 31, 2013, was done. Patients were divided into two Groups; Group A (n = 104, 57.8%) that complied for treatment and Group B (n = 76, 42.2%) that did not comply for treatment on the scheduled date. The Group B ("no shows") patients were contacted telephonically and were evaluated for the primary reasons for their failure to comply for treatment through a preformed questionnaire. Results: The mean age, gender distribution and patient's habitat in both the groups were comparable. On Group B analysis, the average waiting period for the appointment was 74 days; 31.4% had died within an average of 31 days; 37.1% said they were better; 10% said their condition was the same; 18.6% said their disease had progressed. Patients were also evaluated for various factors responsible for their not reporting for treatment at the institute. Conclusion: Better communication and constant reminders between patients and the departmental staff can go a long way in helping to curb the problem of no shows and mitigate the artificial access issues. This would lead to better patient care and better resource utilization.

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