Electronic Medical Records and Same Day Patient Tracing Improves Clinic Efficiency and Adherence to Appointments in a Community Based HIV/AIDS Care Program, in Uganda
Published In: AIDS and Behavior, v. 16, no. 2, Feb. 2012, 368-374
Posted on RAND.org on February 01, 2012
Patients who miss clinic appointments make unscheduled visits which compromise the ability to plan for and deliver quality care. We implemented Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and same day patient tracing to minimize missed appointments in a community-based HIV clinic in Kampala. Missed, early, on-schedule appointments and waiting times were evaluated before (pre-EMR) and 6 months after implementation of EMR and patient tracing (post-EMR). Reasons for missed appointments were documented pre and post-EMR. The mean daily number of missed appointments significantly reduced from 21 pre-EMR to 8 post-EMR. The main reason for missed appointments was forgetting (37%) but reduced significantly by 30% post-EMR. Loss to follow-up (LTFU) also significantly decreased from 10.9 to 4.8%. The total median waiting time to see providers significantly decreased from 291 to 94 min. Our findings suggest that EMR and same day patient tracing can significantly reduce missed appointments, and LTFU and improve clinic efficiency.