Missing medical appointments impacts readiness

| July 25, 2013 | 0 Comments
PRMC reminds Soldiers, reitirees and family members that an appointment missed may impact others. (Photo by Marlon Martin, McDonald Army Health Center Public Affairs)

PRMC reminds Soldiers, reitirees and family members that an appointment missed may impact others. (Photo by Marlon Martin, McDonald Army Health Center Public Affairs)

Sondra Brown
Tripler Army Medical Center

HONOLULU — The recent rate of no-show appointments in military treatment facilities (MTFs) are at an average of 5.78 percent, and they have reached as high as 9.01 percent.

Of significance, when a patient misses an appointment without canceling, that patient also keeps another patient from using that appointment slot.

The Pacific Regional Medical Command defines a “no show” as an individual — a Soldier, retiree or family member — who misses or is late to an appointment without canceling or rescheduling. Skipping an appointment negatively affects patient care, future appointment setting and continuity of care, according to the PRMC.

Patients may perceive their health care as a free Army benefit; however, appointments provide a monetary value in Army resources and staff time.


No show information reminders

The following list examines the importance of a military medical appointment.

Showing up for scheduled appointments saves time and resources. Therefore, cancel properly and in a timely manner, if you are unable to attend an appointment. Doing so allows physicians to schedule other patients during the time slot you were unable to meet.

Also, primary care managers are able to make the best use of their time and skills when patients show up for their appointments on time.

No shows negatively affect continuity of care. If a patient fails to show up for an appointment on time, he or she may experience continued or undiagnosed health problems.

•An appointment missed by one is an appointment missed by two. Being a no show may prevent other Soldiers and family members from being able to use the appointment slot to receive needed care.

No shows affect Soldier readiness. PRMC urges patients to remember that attending medical appointments allows providers to maintain continuity of care, to treat them properly and to keep them ready for the fight. Making appointments on time is another way to support fellow Soldiers.

Take the time to appropriately cancel an appointment, if necessary. Automated reminder calls are made to the patient up to two days before the appointment. At the time of the reminder call, an option is provided to confirm or cancel the appointment. Patients are urged to use this option.

Use Tricare online if the appointment was booked online, if an appointment must be canceled.

Be on time. Soldiers, retirees and family members can ensure a positive health care experience for one another and improve their MTF and the Army health care system by meeting appointment times.

Don’t be the next no show at your MTF. Remember, an appointment missed by you is an appointment missed by two.

(Editor’s note: The PRMC/Tripler Army Medical Center website was used to prepare this release.)


Cancellation Procedures

For more information regarding how to properly cancel an appointment, visit tricareonline.com.

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Category: Community, Health

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