Simulation Model to Study Provider Capacity Release Schedules under Time-Varying Demand Rate for Acute Appointments, Demand for Follow-Up Appointments, and Time-Dependent No Show Rate

AbstractWe address the problem of scheduling patient appointments in a family medicine clinic. A significant barrier to a clinic’s sustainability is under-utilization of the medical providers it employs. Practically all patient appointments are scheduled some time in advance (from an hour to months ahead), and under-utilization happens because some patients do not keep their appointments and do not provide sufficient notice for the clinic to reschedule another patient into the freed slot. Using a stylized simulation model we investigate an algorithm for appointment capacity release that increases provider utilization.

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