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An Integrated Approach to Demand and Capacity Planning in Outpatient Clinics

Izady, N. (2019). An Integrated Approach to Demand and Capacity Planning in Outpatient Clinics. European Journal of Operational Research, 279(2), pp. 645-656. doi: 10.1016/j.ejor.2019.06.001


An outpatient clinic serving two independent demand streams, one representing advance booking requests and the other same-day requests, is considered. Advance requests book their appointments through an electronic booking system for a future day, and same-day requests are served on the day they arise. A compact policy formulation is proposed that incorporates major operational levers suggested in the literature. It combines a slot publication policy, which specifies the pattern under which slots are released to the booking system, with an expediting policy that adjusts the daily workload of advance patients. Relying on a wide range of numerical experiments, a heuristic search method is developed for finding the joint publication and expediting policies, minimizing the cost of overtime slots whilst ensuring a waiting and an access constraint is met. Several managerial insights are derived using a combination of illustrative and real data, highlighting the importance of taking an integrated approach towards the operational levers captured by our policy formulation.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © Elsevier 2019. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license
Publisher Keywords: OR in health services, Outpatient clinics, Demand and capacity planning, Queues
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
R Medicine
Departments: Bayes Business School > Management
SWORD Depositor:
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