By Topic

Clinical Appointment Process: Improvement Through Schedule Defragmentation

Sign In

Cookies must be enabled to login.After enabling cookies , please use refresh or reload or ctrl+f5 on the browser for the login options.

Formats Non-Member Member
$31 $13
Learn how you can qualify for the best price for this item!
Become an IEEE Member or Subscribe to
IEEE Xplore for exclusive pricing!
close button

puzzle piece

IEEE membership options for an individual and IEEE Xplore subscriptions for an organization offer the most affordable access to essential journal articles, conference papers, standards, eBooks, and eLearning courses.

Learn more about:

IEEE membership

IEEE Xplore subscriptions

6 Author(s)
Lian, J. ; Micro Syst. Eng. Inc., Lake Oswego, OR, USA ; DiStefano, K. ; Shields, S.D. ; Heinichen, C.
more authors

Most clinics rely on the appointment scheduling systems to manage patients' access to their health-care providers. Conventional appointment scheduling processes have intrinsic inefficiency because of the tendency to generate fragmented time slots. In this article, a solution, which considers patient-provider mutual preference, is provided to guide the appointment scheduling process by means of schedule defragmentation. Computer simulation shows that patient-provider cooperation can effectively reduce schedule fragmentation, yielding higher appointment acceptance rate and clinic time utilization rate at given appointment demand matched by service supply. When service time distribution can be accurately estimated, decreasing unit time slot size may further improve the appointment scheduling efficiency. In addition, a clinical survey was conducted to identify the opportunities and challenges of applying the proposed defragmentation method in clinical appointment scheduling practice.

Published in:

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:29 ,  Issue: 2 )