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Horizon reminds patients to show up for medical appointments

(Horizon) October 22, 2014 - Of 400,000 booked appointments across Horizon Health Network (Horizon) last year, 24,000 patients did not show up.

Horizon is reminding patients about the importance of attending their medical appointments with the simple concept: attend your appointment or call to cancel and re-book. Horizon will display posters and distribute information to patient waiting areas in the Fredericton area with the remainder of Horizon areas targeted for early next year.

Horizon President and CEO, John McGarry noted the increasingly high number of missed appointments affects Horizon's ability to provide timely and quality care to patients.

"The simple act of not showing up for an appointment can have a negative effect on the health of those who could have benefited from Horizon services," said McGarry. "By lowering the number of missed appointments we can expect a decrease in wait lists, improved access to services and financial savings."

Gary Foley, vice president professional services for Horizon said the goal is to educate patients and clients to understand that showing up for scheduled appointments is the best option for their health.

"Calling to rebook when you can't make it also ensures others who are waiting are not needlessly delayed," he said. "If you can't make your appointment, chances are, someone else can. A simple call to reschedule or cancel can benefit other patients as well as staff."

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. 

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For more information contact:
Carolyn McCormack, APR
Media Relations 1-877-499-1899

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