New Late Arrival, No Show, and Late Cancel Policy

January 31, 2023 by

analog wall clockFive Things to Know About the New Late Arrival, No Show, and Late Cancel Policy

A lesser-known component of the UVA Health One Team | United on Access project is developing health system policies and procedures to support the project goals. The first of these policies developed under the auspices of the One Team project — a Late Arrival, No Show, and Late Cancellation Policy — took effect Feb. 1. It will help ambulatory clinics address and reduce the number of patients who repeatedly fail to show, cancel late, or are late to appointments. Here are five key things team members need to know about the new policy:

The new policy will enhance patient access and experience.

No shows, late cancellations, and late arrivals create service disruptions and waste valuable clinic time, which exacerbate barriers to patient access. By enacting a standard policy that makes patients accountable for missed appointments and gives clinics tools for managing recurring cases, we expect to operate more efficiently, thus enabling clinics to help more patients. Some UVA Health clinics already have protocols for managing these situations, but others don’t. A standard approach also will ensure that patients have a consistent experience and know what to expect, regardless of location, clinic, or provider.

The goal is always to treat the patient.

While the new policy defines protocols for dismissing patients who repeatedly cancel or no show to appointments, it also stipulates that clinics reach out to patients after missed appointments to encourage them to reschedule and to help resolve issues that may be preventing them from getting care (like transportation or childcare). And patients will not be penalized for missing appointments due to circumstances beyond their control (like weather or hospitalization). For late arriving patients, the policy states that clinics should always try to work patients into the schedule if possible and reschedule if not.

The policy will be operationalized in a streamlined way.

Policy violations will be tracked in Epic, and patient communication about the policy (including reminders upon scheduling and notice of violations) will be streamlined by the Access team through Epic and MyChart. A toolkit has been developed and shared with key team members to support implementation.

This is a system-wide policy. 

Supporting the goal of delivering a consistent patient experience, the policy applies to in-person, video and telephone visits and will be implemented across Medical Center, UVA Physicians Group (UPG), and UVA Community Health (UVACH) ambulatory clinics. Importantly, a diverse group of stakeholders from across the health system contributed to the development of the policy. It’s worth noting that UPG and UVACH already have late arrival, no show, and/or late cancellation policies in place, and the new policy tracks closely with these existing policies.

The policy supports the strategic plan. 

A bold vision to “radically improve” patient access is laid out in the One Future Together | Health and Hope for All strategic plan. By giving clinics policy tools to manage their operations more efficiently, we can help realize this vision sooner.

Clinical faculty may learn more about this new policy on the Ambulatory intranet website.


Article written by Ginny Clemenko.

Filed Under: Clinical