Purpose To assess the extent of and reasons for non-attendance in the Orthopaedic and Trauma Specialist Outpatient Department.
Method The first stage was a retrospective survey and the second stage was a structured face-to-face interview.
Results In stage 1, monthly statistics (12 months) were reviewed. There were no significant statistical differences between the attendance and default counts/rates and the seasons, except the default rate (F = 5.537 (3,8), P = 0.024). The mean default rate ranged from 17.6 to 20.62% over the four seasons. April-June had the lowest mean default rate. In stage 2, 50 subjects were recruited randomly; 25 had attended the clinic and 25 had not. There were no significant differences in the demographic characteristics between the two groups or in the ratings of the attitudes towards the various professional groups. However, those who did not attend the clinic expressed most dissatisfaction with the waiting time, the quality of consultation, and the facilities in the waiting area.
Discussion Although the exact waiting time was not recorded, this did not stop us from evaluating the work process with the aim of shortening waiting time and improving the quality of that time. To develop measures that shorten waiting time, it was necessary to review the functional process of a consultation session. The quality of waiting time can be enhanced by rearranging the waiting areas, providing more chairs, improving the lighting, and ensuring the cleanliness of the toilet facilities. An education programme that adopts a behavioural approach is suggested to help clients appreciate the value of follow-ups. Copyright © 2004 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
CitationChung, J. W. Y., Wong, T. K. S., & Yeung, A. C. P. (2004). Non-attendance at an orthopaedic and trauma specialist outpatient department of a regional hospital. Journal of Nursing Management, 12(5), 362-367. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2834.2004.00484.x