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  1. Choe, Monica Y. DNP, CRNP, AGNP-C
  2. VanGraafeiland, Brigit DNP, CRNP, FAAN
  3. Parian, Alyssa MD


Approximately one in four patients with inflammatory bowel disease are readmitted within 90 days. To reduce hospitalizations, regular follow-up appointments with gastroenterologists are essential. However, the mean wait time for gastroenterology clinic appointments significantly exceeded the target goal of 14 days in North America. Based on literature review, we developed and implemented a new appointment scheduling protocol. The inclusion criteria were adult patients with inflammatory bowel disease who were recently hospitalized or newly referred to a gastroenterology clinic. At weeks 0 and 12, wait times were extrapolated from chart review, and patient satisfaction rates were collected via surveys. Patient demographics and outcome data were examined using descriptive statistics. A total of 16 patients were included. Following the intervention, the mean wait time decreased from 40.4 (SD = 31.9) to 21.9 days (SD = 11.4), but the change was statistically insignificant (p = .408). Poor response rates (47%) limited the interpretation of the patient satisfaction data. Despite the small sample size, our project was the first quality improvement initiative that implemented an evidence-based appointment scheduling protocol among adult patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Further studies are warranted with a larger sample size to better evaluate its efficacy in achieving timely outpatient gastroenterology care.