EMRs Might Signal Who May Be Radiology No-Shows

October 23, 2017

Information in the EMR may suggest which patients may not show up for scheduled radiology examinations.

Information available in electronic medical records (EMR) can help predict which patients may not attend a scheduled radiology examination, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Researchers from Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, sought to determine if EMRs could provide information that could be effectively leveraged to predict failure to attend a scheduled radiology examination.

The researchers identified all patients with a diagnostic imaging examination scheduled (54,652 patient appointments) at a large academic medical center from January 1, 2016 to April 1, 2016, and determined whether the patient successfully attended the examination. The researchers recorded demographic, clinical, and health services utilization variables available in the EMR.

The results showed that during the study period, 6.5% of the patients did not attend their scheduled appointments. No-show rates were highest for the modalities of mammography and CT and lowest for PET and MRI. Sixteen of the 27 demographic, clinical, and health services utilization factors were significantly associated with failure to attend a scheduled radiology examination. Days between scheduling and appointments, modality type, and insurance type were most strongly predictive of no-show, the researchers noted.

“Moving forward, this information can be proactively leveraged to identify patients who might benefit from additional patient engagement through appointment reminders or other targeted interventions to avoid no-shows,” the researchers concluded.