What are some of the current practices and challenges in documenting the status of missed appointments and integrating this data into appointment management and tracing?

What are the challenges in (1) documenting the status of a patient that missed an appointment and (2) integrating this data into appointment management and tracing strategies?

  1. Are there specific gaps that you would like to work with other organizations to address? If so, please describe the gap.
  2. How are those challenges limiting the ability to use data?

Also, Please share some of your current processes and data collection for defaulter resolution. These questions may help prompt your thinking:

  1. What are the processes you use to track contact attempts?
  2. What data do you collect to assist with contact attempts and defaulter resolution?
  3. What paper or electronic systems are used to help with defaulter resolution?
  4. Are there any specific quality practices used to ensure that the appointment information is complete?

At AMPATH, it can be complicated to indicate the outcome of a defaulter tracing effort.

First, there is the challenge of documenting an attempt to find a patient which is unsuccessful (e.g. should we be documenting every phone call attempt that is made even if the patient wasn’t there?).

Second, it’s important for our staff to be able to keep track of the highest priority patients who need follow-up. But it’s not always easy to know this information in a easy to find way (e.g. perhaps a list of patients who missed an appointment should be prioritized based on a combination of the their most recent viral load value and how long patient’s are missing). This can get complicated.

Lastly, we often have teams of people managing a common list of patients. We need to avoid a scenario where two outreach workers follow up the same patient accidentally.

There are many other challenges to documenting this process and we could greatly appreciate working with other organizations on a “contact tracing” module to help facilitate this effort.