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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 8487378, 6 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/8487378
Research Article

Text Message Reminders Increase Appointment Adherence in a Pediatric Clinic: A Randomized Controlled Trial

1Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital, University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, USA
2Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA

Received 1 August 2016; Revised 26 November 2016; Accepted 6 December 2016

Academic Editor: Samuel Menahem

Copyright © 2016 Chia-Lei Lin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Background. High no-show rates can burden clinic productivity and affect patient care. Although multiple studies have shown that text messages improve appointment adherence, very little research has focused on low-income and predominantly African American populations in resident clinic settings. Objectives. To determine whether incorporating a text message reminder reduces the no-show rate at an urban, pediatric resident clinic. Methods. A randomized controlled trial was conducted at a tertiary level ambulatory pediatric practice between August 2014 and February 2015. Following a demographic survey, 170 patients were enrolled. Patients were randomized into control or intervention groups. All patients received the standard voice message appointment reminder, but the intervention group additionally received a text message reminder. The primary outcome was no-show rate. Results. 95.3% of the participants were African American, and the overall no-show rate was 30.8%. No-show rate was significantly lower in the intervention group (23.5%) than the control group (38.1%) representing a difference of 14.6% (). No demographic factors were found to alter the association between no-show rate and text message intervention. Conclusions. Text message reminders effectively improve show rates at a resident pediatric practice with high no-show rates, representing a promising approach to improving appointment adherence.