Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences
The process by which outpatients are scheduled for a doctor's visit is a crucial determinant of the overall efficiency of the patient flow. The problem at hand consists of determining prioritization (triage) rules so that adequate patient care is guaranteed, resources (provider schedules) are utilized efficiently and a service guarantee can be ensured. This paper presents a simulation framework for the evaluation and optimization of scheduling rules. It outlines the basic ingredients of the model, illustrate the kinds of analyses it has enabled us to perform and summarize the experience with a preliminary implementation.