Scheduled out-patient endoscopy and lack of compliance in a minority serving tertiary institution

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Introduction: Lack of adherence to appointments wastes resources and portends a poorer outcome for patients. The authors sought to determine whether the type of scheduled endoscopic procedures affect compliance. Methods: The authors reviewed the final endoscopy schedule from January 2010 to August 2010 in an inner city teaching hospital that serves a predominantly African American population. The final schedule only includes patients who did not cancel, reschedule or notify the facility of their inability to adhere to their care plan up to 24 hours before their procedures. All patients had face to face consultation with gastroenterologists or surgeons before scheduling. The authors identified patients who did not show up for their procedures. They used Poisson regression models to calculate relative risks (RR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Results: Of 2183 patients who were scheduled for outpatient endoscopy, 400 (18.3%) patients were scheduled for Esophago-gastro-duodenoscopy (EGD), 1,335 (61.2%) for colonoscopy and 448 (20.5%) for both EGD and colonoscopy. The rate of noncompliance was 17.5%, 22.8% and 22.1%, respectively. When compared with those scheduled for only EGD, patients scheduled for colonoscopy alone (RR = 1.47; 95% CI: 1.13-1.92) and patients scheduled for both EGD and colonoscopy (RR = 1.36; 95% CI: 1.01-1.84) were less likely to show up for their procedures. Conclusions: This study suggests a high rate of noncompliance with scheduled out-patient endoscopy, particularly for colonoscopy. Because this may be a contributing factor to colorectal cancer disparities, increased community outreach on colorectal cancer education is needed and may help to reduce noncompliance. © 2012 Southern Society for Clinical Investigation.

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