Reviews, Recalls, and Reminders in AMSs


Evidence supports the view that reviews, recalls, and reminders play an important role in reducing the risk of harm to patients and in preventative healthcare. They increase the rate of attendance for appointments and follow-up care. Routine follow-up through reviews, recalls, and reminders can have a significant impact on the health, well-being, and decision making of patients and families.

Healthcare standards require all healthcare providers to have in place effective systems for reviews, recalls, and reminders. There are numerous published research articles, conceptual frameworks and theories that discuss and confirm the effectiveness of these methods in improving health outcomes.

Yet, evidence has shown that recall and reminder systems, while effective when used properly, are often underutilised or misused leading to loss of efficiencies and failure to achieve the desired outcomes – getting the patient to attend.

The purpose of this module is to help staff understand the general principles of follow-up in clinic settings and identify their role in ensuring effective follow-up is part of routine practice. It is aimed at all those involved (or who should be involved) in patient reviews, recalls, and reminders.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this module participants will be able to:

  • Identify the differences between reviews, recalls, and reminders.
  • Know the common reasons for patients not responding to recalls and reminders.
  • Know the common barriers in health services to effective follow-up.
  • Know the steps to take to conduct a recall or reminder.
  • Know what to do when a patient is unable to be contacted for a recall or fails to respond to a reminder.
  • Identify steps that can be taken to improve a follow-up system.
  • Identify who is responsible for reviews, recalls, and reminders.

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