What is a DNA?
This is an appointment that a patient has booked either in advance or on the day but not attended or cancelled.
If you’ve been into Quay Lane Surgery recently, you may have noticed the white-board behind the receptionist’s desk. This shows the number of minutes of appointment time lost during the month when patients have failed to turn up or cancel their appointment. The Quay Lane Surgery Patient Participation Group have actively been highlighting this issue in their newsletters.
Monthly DNA data:
There were 66 DNA’s
26 missed GP appointments = 4 hrs 10 mins
40 missed Nursing appointments = 6 hrs 40 mins
By sharing its DNA data with you the practice is aiming to show just how much time is being lost through missed appointments. In a recent search of our systems we found that in one week alone 39 appointments were lost because patients did not turn up for their appointment. This amounts to 6 hours of wasted time that could have been offered to other patients. As there is a very high demand on the appointment slots that we have available this is a very serious waste of our resources which ultimately affects you as a patient. Those 39 slots in that week could have been given to 39 other patients.
The vast majority of our patients attend their appointments or let us know if they cannot attend or no longer need them. We really appreciate this as it means we can free those appointments up to be used by other patients. However, a small but significant number of patients miss their appointments without cancelling them. This means the doctor or nurse is waiting for the patient to arrive, when they could have been seeing another patient. All DNA’s are documented on patient records and patients may be asked to explain to the GP/Nurse/Practice why they failed to cancel their unwanted appointment when they next attend.
What can we do to help?
- We offer an appointment text reminder service (let us know your mobile number using the link below)
- We write appointments down for patients who attend in person
- We read the appointment back for those made over the telephone
What can you do to help?
Everyone can help! One of the most important ways you can help is by making sure you cancel your appointment if it is no longer needed.
Your appointment can then be given to someone else.
The Practice Manager says: "The fact that some patients make appointments and then don't attend is a constant concern. A person who does not attend is blocking appointments for other patients, which is having a detrimental effect on waiting times. While there can be many reasons for patients failing to attend appointments including feeling better, transportation problems or being unable to get through to the surgery to cancel, the most common reason is that they simply forget. The receptionists often have difficult conversations with disgruntled patients who can’t get an appointment of their choice. We want to encourage patients to cancel their unwanted appointments in a timely manner so that we can offer that appointment to another patient”
We therefore ask that if you cannot attend please contact us by telephone anytime from 8.30am to 6pm Monday to Friday. If you booked your appointment on-line then you can also cancel it on-line or by letting us know. Please let us know if you can’t attend within 24 hours of your appointment so that we can offer it to someone else.
When you make an appointment please set yourself a little reminder so you are less likely to forget. Help us to help you remember the next time you require an appointment you may get one of those cancelled slots! Thank you.
You can register to receive information by text message on your phone regarding appointments and health care.
If you wish to register for this messaging service please fill out the consent form.