Weekday affects attendance rate for medical appointments: large-scale data analysis and implications

David Ellis, Rob Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

20 Citations (Scopus)


The financial cost of missed appointments is so great that even a small percentage reduction in Did Not Attend (DNA) rate could save significant sums of money. Previous studies have identified many factors that predict DNA rate, including patient age, gender, and transport options. However, it is not obvious how healthcare providers can use this information to improve attendance, as such factors are not under their control. One factor that is under administrative control is appointment scheduling. Here we asked whether DNA rate could be reduced by altering scheduling policy. In Study 1, we examined attendance records for 4,538,294 outpatient hospital appointments across Scotland between January 1st 2008 and December 31st 2010. DNA rate was highest for Mondays (11%), lowest for Fridays (9.7%), and decreased monotonically over the week (Monday-Friday comparison [χ2(1, N = 1,585,545) = 722.33, p
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2012

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