Did Not Attend (DNA) Outpatient Activity Sector Report

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and as of February 2022, more than 12.6 million patients have missed their respective outpatient appointments. While unfortunately a relatively common phenomenon within the healthcare landscape, the current extent of DNA rates, depth, and prevalence have created perhaps a more recent threat to healthcare. Indeed, DNA rates today have had an increasingly negative effect on provider flow in terms of a reduction in an overall clinical capacity, and an increase in the inequality gap for access to healthcare. 

As providers and systems continue to push toward recovery, it is essential to explore how the DNA Outpatient Activity landscape has changed since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic — and how this may affect future demand. As such, this report provides insights across key themes, including DNA activity variation between age groups. This has highlighted the 25-39 and 50-59 age groups as having had the largest number of DNA appointments in both the pre-and post-COVID-19 period, accounting for a total of 2.6 million missed appointments since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, the percentage increase in DNA activity within these age groups was seen to peak between September 2020 – February 2021. 

This report further explores key insights into DNA activity within treatment services, highlighting services with the highest average monthly DNA appointments, alongside year-onyear increases in the ‘Top 5’ services with the highest DNA rates. Of note, Ophthalmology services ranked highest in terms of average appointments missed in the pre-and postCovid period, whereas Physiotherapy services recorded the highest year-on-year increase in DNA appointments since the onset of the pandemic. The report then focuses on DNA activity in CCG providers, differentiating between the pre-and post-COVID-19 periods and detailing changes in Face-To-Face and Telemedicine appointments. Finally, the report provides deep predictive insights into overall DNA activity over the next few months to support future planning in light of this growing challenge.