A cost-effective urgent care policy to improve patient access in a dynamic scheduled clinic setting

Yu Li Huang, Paulina Zuniga, Justin Marcak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Patient no-show in outpatient clinics has been a long recognized issue, which negatively impacts clinic operational efficiency in terms of costs and patient access to care. One way to reduce these negative impacts is to allow urgent walk-ins during a clinic day. Some clinics allow random walk-ins and some purposely leave open time slots to accommodate them. The objective of this paper is to develop a cost-effective urgent care policy that is added on top of a full schedule and takes into account scheduled patients' no-show rates to improve patient access to care in a dynamic clinic environment. The findings indicate that the proposed approach outperforms the current random and urgent slot approaches. This paper demonstrates a dynamic approach for accommodating urgent patients into a patient scheduling system, based on the prediction of an individual patient's no-show probability and the maximum number of urgent patients allowed.

Keywords

  • appointment system
  • healthcare
  • no-show
  • urgent care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Information Systems
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Marketing

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