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Year : 2023  |  Volume : 28  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23

The effect of outpatient web-based online scheduling versus traditional staff scheduling systems on progression to surgery and no-show rates

1 Division of Hand and Wrist Surgery, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, AdventHealth, Orlando, FL, USA; Orthopedic Research Center, Mashhad University of Medical Sciences, Mashhad, Iran
2 Division of Hand Surgery, Rothman Orthopaedic Institute, Philadelphia, PA, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Amir Kachooei
MD PhD, 265 East Rollins Street, 11th Floor, Orlando, FL, 32804

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jrms.jrms_738_22

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Background: This study aimed to compare the rate of scheduled surgery and no-show rates between online-scheduled appointments and traditionally scheduled appointments. Materials and Methods: All scheduled outpatient visits at a single large multi-subspecialty orthopedic practice in three U.S. states (PA, NJ, and NY) were collected from February 1, 2022, to February 28, 2022. Visits were categorized as “online-scheduled” or “traditionally scheduled” and then further grouped as “no-show,” “canceled,” or “visited.” Finally, visits were categorized as either “new patient” or “follow-up.” Results: There was no significant difference between scheduling systems for patient progression to any procedure within 3 months of the initial visit (P = 0.97) and patient progression for surgery only within 3 months of the initial visit (P = 0.88). However, we found a significant difference with a higher rate of progression to surgery in traditionally scheduled than online-scheduled visits when accounting for only new patient visits that progressed to surgery within 3 months of the initial encounter (P = 0.036). No-show rates between scheduling systems were not significant (P = 0.79), but no-show rates were significant when comparing the practice's subspecialties (P < 0.001). Finally, no-show rates for online-scheduled compared to traditionally scheduled patients for both new and follow-up appointments were not significantly different (P = 0.28 and P = 0.94, respectively). Conclusion: Orthopedic practices should utilize online-scheduling systems as there was a higher progression to surgery of traditionally scheduled appointments compared to online. Depending on the subspecialty, no-show rates differed. Furthermore, online-scheduling allows for more patient autonomy and less burden on office staff.

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