The Impact of Communicating Important Preoperative Information on Reducing Non-attendance Rates for Surgery
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Non-attendance for ophthalmology elective surgeries was found to be one of the top reasons for low operating theatre utilisation in a tertiary teaching hospital in Riyadh. The rate of non- attendance in the year 2011 was 14.5%. The project’s interventions set a goal of decreasing surgery cancellations that resulted from non-attendance by communicating the important preoperative information to the patients and the use of telephone and short text message reminders prior to the surgery. The framework that was used to manage this project was the Health Services Executive (HSE) change model. As a result of intervention through calling and sending reminders to the patients, the rate had declined to 8.8% out of total 272 patients referred for surgeries. This difference in the non-attendance rate was found to be statistically significant which indicates the effectiveness of the telephone and short text message intervention. The other component of intervention (patient guidance) was introduced in addition to the previous ones resulted in a slight increase in the non-attendance rate to 12.8%. However, comparing this increase (4%) to the previous 8.8% it was found to be statistically insignificant which indicates that the trend is still towards improvement. To test the impact of these interventions on the operating theatre utilisation, the review figures of the theatre utilisation in the year 2012 were compared with the year 2011. The comparison has shown improvement in the average utilisation for the year 2012 (74.59%) compared with a percentage of 65.48% for the year 2011.