Analysis of patient demographics and attendance at a Far North Queensland public dermatology outpatient clinic

Nikhil Dwivedi*, Ramez Barsoum, Evelyne Rathbone, Ilsphi Browne

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


BACKGROUND/OBJECTIVES: There is limited literature focussing on the demographics of patients presenting to public dermatology outpatient clinics, with an even smaller amount focussing on clinics in regional Australia. This study presents the first patient demographic analysis for the Cairns Hospital's Dermatology Outpatient Department and analyses the cohort of patients who did not attend their appointments. In doing so, it recommends potential strategies that should be considered to address the issues of patient absenteeism and wait times in a regional setting, while also suggesting future data points that should be collected for analysis.

METHODS: A 4-year retrospective cohort study using demographic data from all referrals with medical officers (N = 10,333) from 1 January 2018 to 31 December 2021 at the Cairns Hospital Dermatology Outpatient Department. The hospital is the only facility with a dermatology service within the Cairns and Hinterland Hospital and Health Service. Data were extracted from the Cairns Hinterland Analytical Intelligence (CHAI) system.

RESULTS: Data pertaining to patient demographics, attendance of appointments, triage categories and wait times were collected and reviewed for patients referred during the study period.

CONCLUSION: The Dermatology Outpatient Department services an ever-growing and diverse patient cohort. Barriers to access and long wait times exist for patients referred to the Department. Strategies to combat these issues, such as an increase in funding and resourcing, should be considered to better optimise patient care and the utilisation of health resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-345
Number of pages7
JournalAustralian journal of dermatology
Issue number3
Early online date5 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2023


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