Outpatient Scheduling - A Simulation Approach.
AIR FORCE INST OF TECH WRIGHT-PATTERSONAFB OH SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING
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Obstetric outpatients, attending the prenatal clinic at the Wright- Patterson AFB Medical Center, were frequently required to wait in excess of one hour to see a doctor even though their consultations are scheduled by appointments. Two causes that contribute to this waiting time are the uncertainty as to the number of doctors that will be available for the clinic and the attempt to eliminate doctor idle time. A computer simulation model was developed to enable experimentation with twelve different appointment systems. The simulation model takes into account four random occurrences patient arrival time, consultation time, arrival of walk-in patients and number of doctors available which characterize this particular clinic. The appointment system, recommended for immediate implementation, schedules 10 patients for the first appointment and 5 patients each 10 min. interval thereafter. This recommendation is based on a normally distributed patient arrival time, about a mean of 11.14 mins. before the appointment time, a gamma distributed consultation time with a mean of 6.86 mins., a 40 min. mean inter-arrival time for walk-in patients and from one to six doctors available. The resulting average patient waiting time and average doctor idle time was 17.73 mins. and 2.82 mins. respectfully. Author
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