Strategies for interday appointment scheduling in primary care

Strategies for interday appointment scheduling in primary care When faced with a medical problem, patients contact their primary care physician (PCP) first. Here mainly two types of patient requests occur: non-scheduled patients who are walk-ins without an appointment and scheduled patients with an appointment. Number and position of the scheduled appointments influence waiting times for patients, capacity for treatment and the utilization of PCPs. As the number of patient requests differs significantly between weekdays, the challenge is to match capacity with patient requests and provide as few appointment slots as necessary. In this way, capacity for walk-ins is maximized while overall capacity restrictions are met. Decisions as to the optimal appointment capacity per day on a tactical decision level has gained little attention in the literature. A mixed integer linear model is developed, where the minimum number of appointments scheduled for a weekly profile is determined. We are thus able to give the answer as to how many appointments to offer on each day in a week in order to create a schedule that takes patient preferences as well as PCP preferences into account. Appointment schedules are often influenced by uncertain demands due to the number of urgent patients, interarrivals and service times. Based on an exemplary case study, the advantages of the optimal appointment schedule on different performance criteria are shown by detailed stochastic simulations. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Health Care Management Science Springer Journals

Strategies for interday appointment scheduling in primary care

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2016 by Springer Science+Business Media New York
Subject
Business and Management; Operation Research/Decision Theory; Health Administration; Health Informatics; Management; Econometrics; Business and Management, general
ISSN
1386-9620
eISSN
1572-9389
D.O.I.
10.1007/s10729-016-9361-7
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

When faced with a medical problem, patients contact their primary care physician (PCP) first. Here mainly two types of patient requests occur: non-scheduled patients who are walk-ins without an appointment and scheduled patients with an appointment. Number and position of the scheduled appointments influence waiting times for patients, capacity for treatment and the utilization of PCPs. As the number of patient requests differs significantly between weekdays, the challenge is to match capacity with patient requests and provide as few appointment slots as necessary. In this way, capacity for walk-ins is maximized while overall capacity restrictions are met. Decisions as to the optimal appointment capacity per day on a tactical decision level has gained little attention in the literature. A mixed integer linear model is developed, where the minimum number of appointments scheduled for a weekly profile is determined. We are thus able to give the answer as to how many appointments to offer on each day in a week in order to create a schedule that takes patient preferences as well as PCP preferences into account. Appointment schedules are often influenced by uncertain demands due to the number of urgent patients, interarrivals and service times. Based on an exemplary case study, the advantages of the optimal appointment schedule on different performance criteria are shown by detailed stochastic simulations.

Journal

Health Care Management ScienceSpringer Journals

Published: Mar 21, 2016

References

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