Reasons and Incidence of Multiple Registrations by Patients in Repeat Dental Visits in a Tertiary Facility



multiple registrations, multiple folders, continuing care


Objective: To seek information on patients’ knowledge of the purpose of the hospital registration card and of the importance of documentation of their dental records in the hospital folders.

Methods: An observational prospective study carried out in the Oral Diagnosis clinic of the Dental center of Central Hospital Benin from October, 2018 to October, 2019. Patients with a new case folder that have been clerked by the primary care dentist filled a questionnaire.

Results: Out of the 580 patients that met the inclusion criterion, 62% were females. Thirty one percent of patients registered multiple times, 23% having registered twice thereby having duplicate folders. Forty percent of patients with triple folders visited the clinic between 2 to 5 years ago. As to the whereabouts of their previous registration card, misplaced cards accounted for up to 71% for patients that registered for the second time and 60% for patients that registered the third time or more.

Seventy four percent of patients registering for the second time did not believe they would visit again after the last time, that was why they did not keep their registration cards properly. Eighty four percent of 3rd time or more registered patients revealed that the registration card was for reference or for subsequent visitation. Forty five percent registered for the second time believed documenting their information was important for proper treatment/ drug administration while 22% of same felt the questions asked was not relevant to problem that brought them to the clinic.

Conclusion: The primary function of patients’ records is to support care. Challenges that lead to multiple dental records which is a direct consequence of multiple registrations by returning patients is complex. One folder per patient can improve patient care and doctors’ performance.