EVALUATION OF PATIENT APPOINTMENT SYSTEM – A CASE STUDY OF UNIVERSITY OF ILORIN TEACHING HOSPITAL

929

ABSTRACT

This research was carried out on the evaluation of patient appointment system at UITH, Ilorin. However, the patient appointment system is an individual instrument in the hospital which has been review in this study. The findings also expose the choice of the appointment system in the hospital and the usefulness to ensure patient waiting time is reduced which has been explained by many writers who have investigated the subject. Descriptive survey was employed for this study. 120 questionnaires were distributed randomly to the respondents, only 100 copies were filled and return to the researcher. The percentage of respondent proof the importance of patient appointment system in the hospital. In conclusion, patient appointment system was seen as a vital tool in reducing patient waiting in the hospital

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

In this fast driven society, where the current climate in the healthcare sector demands efficiency and patients’ satisfaction in medical care delivery. The numbers of missed appointments, unnecessary waste of patient’s time have caused an impending problem for healthcare institutions (Chua, 2010). Hence, there is need for integrated healthcare system to intervene and provide seamless care for both inpatients and outpatients. Therefore, an appointment booking system lies at the intersection of providing efficient and timely access to health services. Outpatient appointment booking is a subject of great interest to hospitals and other medical institutions (Koole, 2007).

The research on appointment scheduling has a long history, starting with the work of Welch and Bailey (1952). Their most famous result is the so-called Bailey-Welch appointment schedule, which states that two patients should be planned at the start of the day, and the other patients evenly spaced throughout the day, to offset the bad effects of no-shows and patient lateness (Welch and Bailey, 1952).  Bailey (1952) already announced that an appointment system is a trade-off between doctors’ and patients’ waiting times. Although outpatient clinic’s average internal waiting times are long, doctors frequently have idle time. Patients who do not show up or who are late for their appointments cause idle time for doctors, leading to temporary underutilization of the outpatient clinic’s capacity. Gaps in the appointment schedules also cause underutilization of the doctor’s time (Bailey, 1954)  .

1.2       STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

There are cases of missed appointments, unnecessary outpatient queue at the clinics, and long waiting time of patients at the clinics.

Accessibility to healthcare at affordable cost constitutes a high challenge in Nigerian. The provision of quality, accessible and affordable healthcare remains a serious problem (Oba, 2008) and due to this fact, Nigerian was ranked to be low in healthcare delivery by international organizations.