Designing cyclic appointment schedules for outpatient clinics with scheduled and unscheduled patient arrivals

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Abstract

We present a methodology to design appointment systems for outpatient clinics and diagnostic facilities that offer both walk-in and scheduled service. The developed blueprint for the appointment schedule prescribes the number of appointments to plan per day and the moment on the day to schedule the appointments. The method consists of two models; one for the day process that governs scheduled and unscheduled arrivals on the day and one for the access process of scheduled arrivals. Appointment schedules that balance the waiting time at the facility for unscheduled patients and the access time for scheduled patients are calculated iteratively using the outcomes of the two models. Two methods to calculate appointment schedules, complete enumeration and a heuristic procedure, are compared in various numerical experiments. Furthermore, an appointment schedule for the CT-scan facility at the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is developed to demonstrate the practical merits of the methodology. The method is of general nature and can therefore also be applied to scheduling problems in other sectors than health care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-26
Number of pages22
JournalPerformance evaluation
Volume80
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

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Schedule
Blueprints
Computerized tomography
Health care
Scheduling
Methodology
Waiting Time
Walk
Healthcare
Enumeration
System Design
Scheduling Problem
Diagnostics
Sector
Numerical Experiment
Heuristics
Moment
Calculate
Experiments
Model

Keywords

  • Stochastic methods
  • Health care management
  • MSC-90B22
  • Appointment scheduling
  • MSC-60J20
  • MSC-60K20
  • EWI-25091
  • Queuing theory
  • Service operations
  • METIS-304998
  • IR-91722

Cite this

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title = "Designing cyclic appointment schedules for outpatient clinics with scheduled and unscheduled patient arrivals",
abstract = "We present a methodology to design appointment systems for outpatient clinics and diagnostic facilities that offer both walk-in and scheduled service. The developed blueprint for the appointment schedule prescribes the number of appointments to plan per day and the moment on the day to schedule the appointments. The method consists of two models; one for the day process that governs scheduled and unscheduled arrivals on the day and one for the access process of scheduled arrivals. Appointment schedules that balance the waiting time at the facility for unscheduled patients and the access time for scheduled patients are calculated iteratively using the outcomes of the two models. Two methods to calculate appointment schedules, complete enumeration and a heuristic procedure, are compared in various numerical experiments. Furthermore, an appointment schedule for the CT-scan facility at the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is developed to demonstrate the practical merits of the methodology. The method is of general nature and can therefore also be applied to scheduling problems in other sectors than health care.",
keywords = "Stochastic methods, Health care management, MSC-90B22, Appointment scheduling, MSC-60J20, MSC-60K20, EWI-25091, Queuing theory, Service operations, METIS-304998, IR-91722",
author = "Nikky Kortbeek and Zonderland, {Maartje Elisabeth} and Aleida Braaksma and Vliegen, {Ingrid M.H.} and Boucherie, {Richardus J.} and Nelli Litvak and Hans, {Elias W.}",
note = "SI: Service Science of Queues",
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AU - Kortbeek, Nikky

AU - Zonderland, Maartje Elisabeth

AU - Braaksma, Aleida

AU - Vliegen, Ingrid M.H.

AU - Boucherie, Richardus J.

AU - Litvak, Nelli

AU - Hans, Elias W.

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N2 - We present a methodology to design appointment systems for outpatient clinics and diagnostic facilities that offer both walk-in and scheduled service. The developed blueprint for the appointment schedule prescribes the number of appointments to plan per day and the moment on the day to schedule the appointments. The method consists of two models; one for the day process that governs scheduled and unscheduled arrivals on the day and one for the access process of scheduled arrivals. Appointment schedules that balance the waiting time at the facility for unscheduled patients and the access time for scheduled patients are calculated iteratively using the outcomes of the two models. Two methods to calculate appointment schedules, complete enumeration and a heuristic procedure, are compared in various numerical experiments. Furthermore, an appointment schedule for the CT-scan facility at the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is developed to demonstrate the practical merits of the methodology. The method is of general nature and can therefore also be applied to scheduling problems in other sectors than health care.

AB - We present a methodology to design appointment systems for outpatient clinics and diagnostic facilities that offer both walk-in and scheduled service. The developed blueprint for the appointment schedule prescribes the number of appointments to plan per day and the moment on the day to schedule the appointments. The method consists of two models; one for the day process that governs scheduled and unscheduled arrivals on the day and one for the access process of scheduled arrivals. Appointment schedules that balance the waiting time at the facility for unscheduled patients and the access time for scheduled patients are calculated iteratively using the outcomes of the two models. Two methods to calculate appointment schedules, complete enumeration and a heuristic procedure, are compared in various numerical experiments. Furthermore, an appointment schedule for the CT-scan facility at the Academic Medical Center Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is developed to demonstrate the practical merits of the methodology. The method is of general nature and can therefore also be applied to scheduling problems in other sectors than health care.

KW - Stochastic methods

KW - Health care management

KW - MSC-90B22

KW - Appointment scheduling

KW - MSC-60J20

KW - MSC-60K20

KW - EWI-25091

KW - Queuing theory

KW - Service operations

KW - METIS-304998

KW - IR-91722

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