Date of Award

Fall 2018

Project Type

Clinical Doctorate

College or School


Program or Major


Degree Name


First Advisor

Dr. Pamela Dinapoli

Second Advisor

Dr. Donna Pellitier


No-shows and late cancellations are a challenge across medical practices, resulting in costly, fragmented care. Many patients do not understand the impact that not showing or cancelling an appointment less than 48 hours prior to a visit can have. While reminding the patient of the appointment has been a known tactic to improve patient’s attendance, the most effective mode of the reminder can vary significantly across patient populations. Just as critical as reminding the patient of the appointment is to ensure they understand the purpose of the visit along with showing respect for their time and any competing priorities. This quality improvement initiative aimed to reduce the no-show rate of 21.4% and late cancellation rate of 21.1% for the MassHealth population by 5%. Learning from previous studies, a hybrid approach to meet this population’s needs included a 7-day reminder call with a Patient Engagement Coordinator (PEC) and a 2-day automated reminder. During the 7-day reminder call the PEC identified barriers to attending the appointment through concrete planning and motivational interviewing strategies. Appointments were rescheduled as needed, additional information was provided to solidify shared goals for the visit, and patient’s time/obligations were validated. The intervention resulted in positive feedback from the majority of patients and revealed concrete planning prompts to be a very effective communication form. The post-intervention data analysis revealed both the no-show and late cancellation results were reduced for the MassHealth population. Due to data and confounding variable limitations this study is recommended to be a basis for future investigation as the principal investigators enter into the next pilot phase of this model.