Gathering Information with Dr. Sims
Aside from helping see patients, I was also supposed to work with the engineering department to help develop a new flexible laryngoscope. Additionally, I was supposed to help examine trends in vocal disorders in pastors of different denominations. Due to a few unforeseen circumstances, neither opportunities carried through due to the amount of time I was going to spend interning at the clinic. Instead, I was able to do research based on reducing patient no show rates. A no show is exactly what it sounds like: the patient failed to make their appointment. This leads to the loss of funds, morale, and time. Patients failing to show up causes millions of dollars in loss across the country. Prior to doing this research, this was not a topic I had ever considered. Even though I typically make my appointments or cancel or reschedule if I can’t make it, I never really thought about the negative impacts that every practicing medical facility experiences everyday.
We began performing a literature review. In order to gain and seek information about a given topic, it is important to find relevant information in that same topic. Reviewing information from published studies can aid in understanding the general subject field more, asserting that the information you are researching is relevant, and also give crucial logistics for conducting the research itself. I used a few different online medical databases to find the information I needed. Additionally, I worked with the hospital’s library to further understand how I can extend and refine my search to make sure I used the time I researched yield the best results.
After gathering those results, Dr. Sims and I began to design surveys to gather information on why patients don’t show up, and what steps to take in order to make things better in the future. In the future, a similar survey will likely be used and handed out to patients when they come to their appointments, as well a survey to gather information on why and what helps patients that do show up to keep coming. After designing the survey, Dr. Sims gave me a list of patients that didn’t show up for the months of May and January. I would call and record the responses to the survey using separate Google Forms for each patient response.
Upon gathering the responses, we make some bar graphs and analyzed the data and concluded a few statements about it. Additionally, we looked for more information to talk about in the concluding statements to make it better. All in all I think I learned a lot from being involved in this process. Additionally, I was able to talk with Dr. Sims daily and benefit from his knowledge and experience about our given subject, but also with life.