Objective: To test a system of arranging the first newborn follow-up appointments made from the hospital prior to discharge.
Methods: Prospective randomized study of 328 term healthy newborns divided into control and intervention groups. As there were multiple practices, we checked for clustering in the two groups and then compared them for patient compliance with the first newborn appointment. We also compared the control and intervention groups for compliance with regard to insurance status.
Results: There was difference between the control and intervention group in timeliness for the first appointment (control, 84.9%, intervention group, 94.2%, p=0.0062). There was also improvement in privately insured patients (control 89.1%, intervention 96.5%, p=0.0263), as well as in Medicaid+noninsured patients (control 64.7%, intervention 90.2%, p=0.0245).
Discussion: We conclude that arranging for follow-up appointments from the hospital is a worthwhile inexpensive intervention that could significantly improve patient compliance with the first newborn visit.