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Preventing patient absenteeism: validation of a predictive overbooking model.

Reid MW, Cohen S, Wang H, Kaung A, Patel A, Tashjian V, Williams DL, Martinez B, Spiegel BM. Preventing patient absenteeism: validation of a predictive overbooking model. The American journal of managed care. 2015 Dec 1; 21(12):902-10.

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OBJECTIVES: To develop a model that identifies patients at high risk for missing scheduled appointments ("no-shows" and cancellations) and to project the impact of predictive overbooking in a gastrointestinal endoscopy clinic-an exemplar resource-intensive environment with a high no-show rate. STUDY DESIGN: We retrospectively developed an algorithm that uses electronic health record (EHR) data to identify patients who do not show up to their appointments. Next, we prospectively validated the algorithm at a Veterans Administration healthcare network clinic. METHODS: We constructed a multivariable logistic regression model that assigned a no-show risk score optimized by receiver operating characteristic curve analysis. Based on these scores, we created a calendar of projected open slots to offer to patients and compared the daily performance of predictive overbooking with fixed overbooking and typical "1 patient, 1 slot" scheduling. RESULTS: Data from 1392 patients identified several predictors of no-show, including previous absenteeism, comorbid disease burden, and current diagnoses of mood and substance use disorders. The model correctly classified most patients during the development (area under the curve [AUC] = 0.80) and validation phases (AUC = 0.75). Prospective testing in 1197 patients found that predictive overbooking averaged 0.51 unused appointments per day versus 6.18 for typical booking (difference = -5.67; 95% CI, -6.48 to -4.87; P < .0001). Predictive overbooking could have increased service utilization from 62% to 97% of capacity, with only rare clinic overflows. CONCLUSIONS: Information from EHRs can accurately predict whether patients will no-show. This method can be used to overbook appointments, thereby maximizing service utilization while staying within clinic capacity.

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