Improving Performance of Open Access Clinics
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Open Access Scheduling has shown great promise in allowing health care practices to provide same-day access, and to match patients with their regular physicians. However, similarly to traditional clinics where appointments are pre-booked, open access clinics are also frustrated with long waits, long idle time and long overtime due to uncertainties such as patient no-shows, variable service time and variable daily demand. These aspects have not been studied previously in an open access setting. This study investigates different management options to improve clinical performance in terms of patient waiting time, doctor idle time and clinic overtime. Other factors studied with a simulation model include client load and placement of pre-booked slots. Results show that a proper panel size is critical to obtain good performance for open access clinics, and that good choices for management options depend on the client load.