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Awareness initiative helps decrease missed appointments

(Horizon) March 23, 2015 - The number of missed appointments has decreased by 50 per cent for over half of the services experiencing a high rate of 'no shows' in the Fredericton area since unveiling an awareness initiative there last fall. 

Horizon Health Network (Horizon) is counting on similar success as it extends the message to its Moncton, Saint John and Miramichi hospitals. 

Horizon President and CEO, John McGarry noted that a continual reduction in the number of missed appointments will improve Horizon's ability to provide timely and quality care to patients. 

"By communicating the importance of showing up for appointments, we expect this positive trend to extend across the organization," he said. "Showing up for your appointment plays a significant role in helping us to sustain an exceptional patient and family centred care environment." 

Gary Foley, vice president professional services, said fewer missed appointments would ultimately translate into improved access to services across Horizon and a reduction in wait times. 

"We are really pleased with the success we've seen in Fredericton," he said. "Calling to re-book when you can't make it is the best option for your health, and also ensures others who are waiting aren't needlessly delayed." 

The areas with the highest percentages of no shows are the Pulmonary and Asthma Clinic, Clinical Nutrition, Ultrasound and Mammography. 

Horizon will display posters and distribute information to patient waiting areas in major hospitals to remind patients about the importance of attending their medical appointments with the simple concept: attend your appointment or call to cancel and re-book. 

Of 400,000 appointments booked across Horizon in 2013, 24,000 failed to show up. Horizon-wide, there are eight areas of professional services where greater than 10 per cent of booked patients failed to show up for their appointment during a recent survey. Most patients are currently reminded about their upcoming appointments by telephone and letters. 

For more information, please visit www.HorizonNB.ca (direct link: http://bit.ly/1xW6KxB).

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Carolyn McCormack, APR
Media Relations
1-877-499-1899
Media@HorizonNB.ca



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