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Papers of the Week

2019 Nov

Z Rheumatol



[Three years of the appointment service office: high rate of false referrals and no show patients-A retrospective anaysis of the Rheumatism Center Schleswig-Holstein Mitte].


This article presents a retrospective analysis of patients who attended a rheumatology specialist practice (with two specialist rheumatologists) between 2016 and 2018 via an appointment arranged by the appointment service office (Terminservicestelle, TSS). Patients were analyzed in a pseudonymized manner and categorized according to the following criteria: 1. patient did not keep the appointment, 2. patient had no inflammatory rheumatic disease, 3. patient suffered from an inflammatory rheumatic disease but had no urgent indications to be seen and 4. patient suffered from an inflammatory rheumatic disease with urgent indications to be seen. Since the start of the TSS at the beginning of 2016 until the end of 2018 a total of 103 patients were allocated to this specialist practice via the TSS. An appointment was offered to 102 patients who underwent further analysis: 4.9% of the patients (n = 5) suffered from an acute inflammatory rheumatic disease and had urgent indications to be seen, 18.63% of patients (n = 19) suffered from an inflammatory rheumatic disease with no urgent indications to attend, 28.43% of patients (n = 29) did not keep the appointment and 48.04% of patients (n = 49) did not have an inflammatory rheumatic disease but other diseases, such as osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia and other forms of chronic pain syndromes. The positive predictive value (PPV) for patients with inflammatory rheumatic disease and urgent indications was 0.05 when all patients were included in the analysis and 0.07 when only patients who showed up were included. This retrospective analysis demonstrates that the TSS does not fulfill its purpose, namely to promptly arrange appointments at a specalist rheumatologist practice for patients with an acute inflammatory rheumatic disease.