Patient wait times are a common issue in outpatient clinics across the United States. Waiting occurs at different stages of a patient’s office visit, and this cumulative delay in patient flow contributes to a lengthier patient time in the office, which can affect both clinic costs and patient satisfaction. The main objective of this project was to examine the effect of staggered appointment times and determine the best possible combination of the clinic resources to improve patient flow through clinic, while not compromising on number of patients seen per day.
We developed a discrete event simulation model to simulate the clinic patient-flow process and validated it using retrospective data. Various scenarios were simulated and recommendations made. These results allow leaders to make data-driven decisions regarding resources and physician template times while incorporating patient demand.