The role of a nurse telephone call to prevent no-shows in endoscopy

Ryan E. Childers, Amy Laird, Kian Keyashian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: Preventing missed appointments, or "no-shows," is an important target in improving efficient patient care and lowering costs in gastrointestinal endoscopy practices. We aimed to investigate whether a nurse telephone call would reduce no-show rates for endoscopic appointments, and to determine if hiring and maintaining a nurse dedicated to pre-endoscopy phone calls is economically advantageous. Our secondary aim was to identify predictors of no-shows to endoscopy appointments. Methods: We hired and trained a full-time licensed nurse to make a telephone call to patients 7 days before their scheduled upper endoscopy or colonoscopy. We compared this intervention with a previous reminder system involving mailed reminders. The effect of the intervention and impact of other predictors of no-shows were analyzed in 2 similar preintervention and postintervention patient cohorts. A mixed effects logistic regression model was used to estimate the association of the odds of being a no-show to the scheduled appointment and the characteristics of the patient and visit. An analysis of costs was performed that included the startup and maintenance costs of the intervention. Results: We found that a nurse phone call was associated with a 33% reduction in the odds of a no-show visit (odds ratio, 0.67; 95% confidence interval, 0.50-0.91), adjusting for gender, age, partnered status, insurer type, distance from the endoscopy center, and visit type. The recovered reimbursement during the study period was $48,765, with net savings of $16,190 when accounting for the maintenance costs of the intervention; this resulted in a net revenue per annum of $43,173. Conclusions: We found that endoscopy practices may increase revenue, improve scheduling efficiency, and maximize resource utilization by hiring a nurse to reduce no-shows. Predictors of no-shows to endoscopy included unpartnered or single patients, commercial or managed care, being scheduled for colonoscopy as opposed to upper endoscopy, and being scheduled for a screening or surveillance colonoscopy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalGastrointestinal Endoscopy
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 5 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Gastroenterology

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