• Appointment keeping was studied at a hospital-based clinic that evaluated children with school problems. Interventions aimed at improving the "show rate" included telephone reminders and withholding appointments until a parental form had been returned. Results indicated that telephone reminders did not improve appointment keeping. Requiring parents to return forms prior to being given an appointment did significantly increase the show rate (88% vs 57%). This increase could not be attributed to a change in patients' socioeconomic status or race, which remained constant during the entire study period. This intervention also reduced the clinic's waiting period and increased the number of patients seen each month. Data indicated that requiring parents to fill out forms prior to being given appointments resulted in improving the show rate, reducing the waiting period, and increasing the number of patients seen each month.