Introduction: Reminders for medical appointments by mail can sometimes be late and a phone call reminder can be more personal. This prospective randomized study examines the impact of a 5 minute courtesy phone call on patients' anxiety level and its influence on the attendance for endoscopic procedures in a teaching institution. Method: The study was conducted over 4 weeks period Patients scheduled for outpatient EGD, colonoscopy and ERCP were randomized to receive a courtesy phone call or routine hospital reminders. The call entails instruction, preparation and a short questionnaire made 48 hours prior to the appointment by a trained research assistant. A standard survey form was completed by the patients at the appointment. 87 parents received courtesy calls. Results: The courtesy call reviewed that 94% of the patients knew the indication of the procedure, 78% understood the process of the procedure, 11% forgot the preparation and 11% forgot to arrange transport after conscious sedation. The 'no show' rate is significantly lower in the call group 4/87 versus the 'no call' group 12/83(P<0.03). Patients who completed the survey forms: Call n=49 No call n=50 p value Reduction in anxiety level 48.8% 22.8% 0.002* Come to the appointment without reminder 82% 83% ns Preferred reminder by mail and phone call 44.9% 48.2% ns Preferred by call only 18.4% 14.4% ns Conclusions: A 5 minute courtesy phone call impacts positively on patients scheduled for endoscopic procedures by (a) reducing the anxiety level in about 50% cf patients; (b) improving the attendance: (c) reminding over 11% patients who forgot the pre-op prep and another 11% patients to arrange a ride home after conscious sedation. However, most patients do prefer reminders both by mail and phone calls.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - 1997|
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