As a client, patient or resident within the health care system, there are times when you may have to wait for a health service. This may include waiting to see a doctor, a specialist, or other healthcare provider, to complete a blood test, x-ray/ultrasound, a surgical procedure, or to be seen in the Emergency Department.
Reducing wait times and improving timely access to health services is important to Labrador-Grenfell Health. No shows/cancellations also affect wait times. When clients do not attend scheduled appointments it results in a missed appointment since no other client can be scheduled into that time slot. Labrador-Grenfell Health announced the launch of the Automated Notification System (ANS) in select program areas to remind clients of their appointments.
How are wait times measured?
Wait time is a measurement of how long it takes for clients to access a health service. It can be measured in hours, days, or weeks.
Which services have wait time monitoring?
Each Regional Health Authority regularly reports wait time data to the Department of Health and Community Services (DOHCS). The information is verified for accuracy by each Regional Health Authority and then submitted for posting on the DOHCS website. The information only contains statistical data and does not include client identifiers.
No Show & Appointment Cancellation
In January, 2018, Labrador-Grenfell Health expanded the “No Show/Cancellation” policy to address the number of ‘no-shows’ to some Adult Ambulatory Clinics, as well as diagnostic imaging appointments.
When a person doesn’t show at the appointed time, or doesn’t give sufficient notice, diagnostic equipment lies idle, as there is no time to offer that appointment to someone else, resulting in wasted resources of both staff and equipment. Additionally, the ‘no-show’ patient usually needs to be re-booked, which, in turn, slows down the booking/appointment process overall.
Labrador-Grenfell Health asks the public to partner with staff to make the appointment process more efficient and fair for all by:
- Keeping scheduled appointments,
- Cancelling with at least 48 hours’ notice, and
- By keeping contact information up to date.
Staff who book appointments shall use discretion in an effort to avoid undue hardship for patients who miss an appointment due to extenuating circumstances.
A client is permitted to cancel and reschedule an appointment once. A new referral is required prior to rescheduling another appointment if a client:
- Refuses a second offered appointment date or
- Reschedules/cancels a second appointment date
A client who does not attend a scheduled appointment and does not contact the hospital to cancel or reschedule is considered a “No Show”. A new referral is required prior to scheduling another appointment if a client is:
- A No Show
Automated Notification System
Labrador-Grenfell Health announced the launch of the Automated Notification System (ANS) in December 2016 to remind clients of their Endoscopy appointment(s). The expansion of ANS in June 2017 provided clients with the option of choosing text, e-mail or telephone to receive their notification. ANS was expanded on Feb. 5, 2018 for clients who have Diagnostic Imaging appointments.
Sometimes clients forget appointments or experience unplanned life events which result in missed appointments. The ANS provides a reminder several days before a client’s scheduled appointment so that they may confirm an appointment and carry out any preparations needed before the appointment. The system provides clients with a telephone reminder several days before their scheduled appointment. The reminder allows clients to confirm or cancel their appointment, while allowing other clients to be booked in unused or cancelled appointment slots.
The number of ‘no shows’ or missed appointments are a concern to all four Regional Health Authorities in the province. When a client doesn’t show at the appointed time, or doesn’t give sufficient cancellation notice, there is no time to offer that appointment to someone else. This results in underutilized staff and equipment resources and lost procedure times that can never be recouped and can impact waiting list and wait times.
Automated Notification System Timeline
- Dec. 2016: ANS launched for clients who have Endoscopy appointments
- June 2017: Expansion of ANS provides clients with option of choosing text, e-mail or telephone
- Feb. 2018: Expansion of ANS to include Diagnostic Imaging appointments
Click on the links to access news releases:
- Dec. 7, 2016: News Release: ANS Reminds Clients of Endoscopy Appointments
- Feb. 1, 2018: News Release – Labrador-Grenfell Health Expanding the Automated Notification System for Diagnostic Imaging Appointments
Click on the links to access the supporting documents:
- June 26, 2017 ANS poster for Labrador-Grenfell Health facilities
- Feb. 1, 2018 Frequently Asked Questions
Please remember, if you are unable to make your appointment, call that service department before the scheduled time and let us know.
This will allow other clients waiting for service an opportunity to receive service.