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Reduced outpatient waiting times with improved appointment scheduling: a simulation modelling approach

Harper, Paul Robert and Gamlin, H. M. 2003. Reduced outpatient waiting times with improved appointment scheduling: a simulation modelling approach. OR Spectrum 25 (2) , pp. 207-222. 10.1007/s00291-003-0122-x

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Abstract

An outpatient department represents a complex system through which many patients with varying needs pass each day. An effective appointment system is a critical component in controlling patient waiting times within clinic sessions. Current waiting times are often unacceptable and place great stress on clinic staff. This paper describes the development and use of a detailed simulation model of an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) outpatient department. The simulation allows various appointment schedules to be examined and their effects on the clinic evaluated. The model has been used to identify a number of critical factors that influence patient waiting times and the build up of queues in the clinic. Alternative appointment schedules have been shown to drastically reduce patient waiting times, without the need for extra resources, and enable the department to move towards meeting the UK Government's Patient's Charter.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Mathematics
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Healthcare – Outpatient clinics – Modelling – Simulation
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
ISSN: 0171-6468
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 03:47
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/26464

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