Visit no-shows (NS) reduce clinic efficiency and effective resource allocation. Inadequate follow-up among patients with chronic eye disease increases risk of disease progression. Our study identifies demographic, medical, and socioeconomic characteristics that increase odds of NS among patients with chronic eye conditions at high risk of vision-threatening complications.
This is a retrospective case–control study of data abstracted over a 5-year period (January 2013–December 2018) in an urban academic ophthalmology practice. Follow-up appointments of patients ≥ 18 years of age with a diagnosis of glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, or age-related macular degeneration were included. Age, sex, race, ethnicity, language preference, zip code, and relevant medical history were recorded. A multivariate mixed logistic regression model was utilized to determine any association between demographic factors and visit NS.
A total of 106,652 visits for 4,598 unique patients were included in this study. Of these, 13,240 (12.4%) visits were NS. Patient characteristics that increased the odds of NS included Hispanic ethnicity (p < 0.0001), Black race (p < 0.0001), and a history of mental illness (p < 0.0001). Socioeconomic factors that increased the odds of NS included median household income < $40,000 (p = 0.002), Medicare insurance (p < 0.0001), and Medicaid insurance (p < 0.0001).
Our results highlight the influence of ethnic, racial, medical, and socioeconomic characteristics on appointment NS among patients with chronic eye disease. Future interventions aimed at reducing appointment NS could channel resources to the at-risk populations identified in this analysis to improve access to care for those who need it most.