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The Baltimore City Health Department has declared a Winter Shelter Status alert for Saturday, January 13 to Friday, January 19. Find additional information on winter shelter status and resources here.
What's wrong with missed appointments? “Missed appointments,” scheduled appointments for which a client does not show up, means a client does not get the care they need, which often leads to further health complications. Additionally, missed appointments affect wait times for other clients and the work of our health care providers.
How are we going to help clients show up? After tackling what exactly constitutes a missed appointment, our scheduling department conducted a pilot where they made calls to one provider’s clients to remind them of upcoming appointments. The numbers were telling; the missed appointment rate reduced significantly when a client was able to be reached with a phone reminder. One problem is that we didn’t have accurate contact information for a number of clients, so we know we’ve got to do a better just of keeping our database updated. We’re now reaching out to communications companies that can provide automated phone reminders and text messages to our clients. But we know there are other factors that may keep a client from keeping a scheduled appointment, and we are going to work to flesh those out.
What's the latest? On October 2, we began sending mobile appointment reminders to all clients with upcoming appointments who have current phone numbers in our electronic health record system through Televox, an automated phone service used by health centers to communicate with clients. Clients will receive an automated phone call two days prior to a scheduled appointment, and a text reminder the night before.