To evaluate the effectiveness of computer-generated telephone reminder calls in increasing kept appointment rates in a public health setting.
Randomized controlled trial.
Public health clinic, Georgia.
Five hundred seventeen clients with scheduled appointments during a 4-week period at immunization, women, infant, and children; well-child; or family-planning programs.
A single computer-generated telephone reminder 1 day before each client's scheduled appointment.
Main Outcome Measure:
Rates of kept appointments.
Of the 277 clients assigned to receive the intervention, 144 (52%) kept their appointments, compared with only 78 (32.5%) of 240 who were not assigned to receive a message (P<.05). Improvement in kept appointment rates associated with receiving the message was highest for the immunization-program (183% increase, P<.05), with increases of 64%, 53%, and 44% for the well-child; women, infant, and children; and family-planning programs, respectively.
These results suggest a simple and effective method to increase kept appointment rates in a variety of public health programs.(Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149:902-905)