Patients choose to attend Rockingham General Hospital

August 7, 2015

A project designed to improve patient attendance at outpatient clinic appointments has seen a significant reduction in Gynaecology and Colposcopy Clinic did not attend (DNA) rates at Rockingham General Hospital.

The project, which came to a close last month, resulted in a 6 per cent and 11 per cent reduction in the Gynaecology and Colposcopy Clinic DNA rates, respectively. There was also an improvement in the clinic wait times for all patients, most notably for routine (category 3) patients with only 0.5 per cent currently over boundary, which is down from 74 per cent at the start of the project in June last year.

Surgery and Specialist Care Nursing Co-Director Heather Pearce explained that a number of initiatives were implemented to address timely access to these specialty appointments.

"While there are no formal targets for clinic attendance, staff identified the Gynaecology and Colposcopy clinics in particular reported high DNA rates, alongside a large waitlist for both first and follow-up appointments," Heather said.

"A multi-disciplinary team developed and introduced a number of process and communication changes including appointment confirmation phone calls to patients, an outpatient information slideshow and brochure, plus patient procedure information sheets."

Rockingham Peel Group Executive Director Geraldine Carlton said the project team had worked hard to achieve these results and been rewarded with improvements that benefitted patients, staff and referrers.

"There is a cost to patients and to our health service if clinics are not attended," Geraldine said.

"This project has not only improved attendance but also access to care, to the point where we have been able to offer other SMHS patients clinic appointments at RGH. The team should feel very proud."