Outpatient Appointment Scheduling

Indiana University Health Arnett (IUHA) is an integrated healthcare system which consists of a full service acute care hospital and a multispecialty clinic with approximately 200 providers at numerous locations. In the past, provider schedules were driven by individual preference which led to increased variation in scheduling rules that failed to meet employer or patient expectations. To better serve patients and maintain provider approval, IUHA sought to develop a scheduling methodology that provides same day access for a designated patient population while allowing acceptable access to the remaining patient population.

IUHA employed a team from Texas A & M University, The New York Academy of Medicine and the Center Health Innovation to develop a discrete-event simulation model using AnyLogic to predict the operational performance of the clinic under different demand patterns and staffing scenarios. The model allows decision-makers to input population characteristics (e.g., arrival rate, probability of no-show, composition of different patient types) of the specific clinic and the physician work schedules, then predicts performance measures such as the average patient request-to-appointment time, clinic utilization, and physician working overtime for up to two years.

Ultimately, the simulation model provides IUHA with a tool to improve its operational efficiency and patient satisfaction. Check out the case study and recorded video presentation from the AnyLogic Conference 2015 where Michelle Alvarado, PhD candidate at Texas A & M showcases the model and its ability to be implemented easily at many other outpatient care facilities.